California Fish & Game

Big game hunters: We are receiving many questions from tag holders about refunds, preference point reinstatements, exchanges and other considerations given several active wildfires in popular hunting areas – including the Antelope Fire in Siskiyou County, the Monument Fire in Trinity County, the McFarland Fire in Trinity, Shasta and Tehama counties, the Tamarack Fire in Alpine County, and the Dixie Fire in parts of Butte, Plumas, Lassen and Tehama counties. Hunters should always check directly with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and other public and private landowners about any wildfire-related closures affecting your favorite hunting spots.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 708.2(b) prohibits CDFW from refunding deer tag fees (except for nonresident tag holders, subject to specific requirements), but refunds may be issued for select elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep tags. Additionally, premium deer tags awarded using a first choice in the Big Game Drawing, elk tags, pronghorn antelope tags, and bighorn sheep tags may be returned to CDFW with a request to have preference points reinstated and one preference point awarded for the species for the current hunt year. To be considered for preference point reinstatement, the tag must be returned (postmarked) prior to the first date the tag is valid for hunting. Premium deer tags cannot be exchanged, but any hunter that has only been issued one deer tag during the hunting license year may purchase one additional deer tag from the list of available deer tags (updated regularly online). Tag return and preference point eligibility requirements and additional information may be found on CDFW’s Hunting Licenses and Tags webpage: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Hunting…