Restrictions on Firearms and Archery Tackle
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.