California Hunter Education Requirements

A hunter education certificate or a previous year's hunting license* is required for all persons who wish to purchase a California hunting license. Hunter Education Certificates from other states or provinces are recognized in California.

*You may show a California hunting license from any previous year. If showing a hunting license from another state or province, it cannot be more than two years expired.

California Hunting License

California hunting licenses are issued by the Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are different licenses offered, depending on the species you wish to hunt, and whether you are a California resident. Fees for hunting licenses also vary. Hunting licenses are valid as of July 1st of each year and expire on June 30th the following year. Lifetime licenses are available for California residents. Contact the California Department of Fish & Wildlife for more information on hunting licenses.

Minimum Age Requirements

There is no minimum age to purchase a hunting license, however the child must have a valid hunter education certificate before they can obtain the hunting license. There are, however, certain age restrictions for different game tags, depending on the species hunted - for instance, applicants for deer tags must be at least 12 years of age on or before July 1st on the year the tag is purchased.

Hunter Orange Requirement

Though hunter or blaze orange is not required to hunt in California, the DFW strongly recommends that all hunters wear hunter orange clothing visible from all sides when hunting big game and upland bird.

Important Note

For a more complete listing of California's hunting license laws, hunting regulations, or hunter education requirements, please consult the California Hunting Regulations, available directly from the Department of Fish & Wildlife or on their website at