Notice of Proposed Regulation to Create Two Free Hunting Days (AB 804 Implementation) by Emergency Action

November 22, 2022

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) proposes to add Section 700.1 to Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR) on November 22, 2022. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 804 (Dahle, Chapter 413, Statutes of 2021), also known as the “Free Hunting Days” legislation amending Fish and Game Code Section 3040 on September 30, 2021. The Department is proposing to add Section 700.1 to the Title 14, CCR as the bill requires the Director of the Department to designate and implement two free hunting days per year by July 1, 2023. During a free hunting day, a California resident may hunt if accompanied by a licensed hunter who has been issued a valid hunting license. An unlicensed hunter may participate in free hunting days for only one license year and must have completed all requirements to participate. AB 804 makes the registration for free hunting days available to participants at no cost on the established days. Registration will be available through the Automated License Data System (ALDS), at any Department authorized license retailer, or the Department’s online sales portal to first-time participants. This proposed regulation supports the Recruit, Retain and Reactivate (R3) initiative by increasing public access to hunting opportunities. Current hunters will have the opportunity to mentor and provide social support to new hunters and build relationships within the hunting community. This regulation gives Californians an option to participate more easily by removing some of the barriers to cost and increasing mentorship access.

AB 804 authorizes the Department to adopt emergency regulations to implement Fish and Game Code Section 3040. An emergency rulemaking is necessary to fully implement FGC Section 3040 because the regular rulemaking process may not conclude prior to the July 1, 2023 deadline to designate two free hunting days per year. This emergency regulation is necessary for immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and/or general welfare.

In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the Department is providing notice of the proposed regulatory emergency action, and will submit to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for a ten-day review on December 1, 2022.

Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments on the proposed action to both OAL and the Department.

Written comments submitted via U.S. mail or e-mail must be received by both the Department and OAL no later than December 6, 2022. Please reference submitted comments as regarding “Emergency Regulations: Free Hunting Days,” addressed to:

Reference Attorney
Office of Administrative Law
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1250
Sacramento, CA 95814
E-mail: staff@oal.ca.gov

And

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Education and Outreach
Attn: Taylor Williams
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Email: Taylor.Williams@wildlife.ca.gov

The current rulemaking file for this proposal consists of the following documents: