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Legal hunting equipment depends on the game species, the type of firearm or archery tackle, and the location.

  • When hunting with a shotgun, these are the restrictions.
    • The maximum shotgun size is 10 gauge.
    • Shotgun barrels must not be shorter than 18 inches.
    • During spring turkey season, you may not hunt with any shot size larger than #2 fine shot.
    • When hunting migratory birds, your shotgun must not be capable of holding more than three shells.
  • When hunting deer or bear with a rifle, the rifle must be .23 caliber or larger.
  • When hunting big game with a muzzleloading pistol, the pistol must be .45 caliber or larger.
  • Fully automatic firearms are illegal.
  • Crossbow and archery equipment may be used during all hunting seasons. When hunting with archery tackle, these restrictions apply:
    • The arrow must not contain any drug, chemical, or toxic substance.
    • The arrowhead must not have an explosive tip.

Some counties may have local ordinances that restrict the use of firearms. For specific information, see the Hunting & Trapping Regulations information on the DWR website.

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