Safety Tips as Hunting Season Approaches

Press release from the Mendocino National Forest:

huntHunting season is fast approaching and hunters are curious if their favorite hunting spots are open.

At this time, all public lands in the Mendocino National Forest are open to hunting, with the exception of the Sheet Iron Mountain State Game Refuge, located north of the Snow Mountain Wilderness. The State Refuge is closed to hunting.

Several trails and campgrounds remain closed, and new closures may occur at any time if there are wildfires or other hazards. Hunters should know before they go and check the forest’s website for any alerts or warnings.

Fire danger remains high in the Mendocino National Forest and fire restrictions are in effect. Fire restrictions include bans on campfires or campfires outside recreation sites or wilderness areas designated as fire safe. Smoking outside closed buildings or vehicles, welding, using explosives, or driving a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads is also prohibited.

Forest visitors may use firearms if they carry and use them safely, and if users comply with state and county laws.

  • Do not use trees, signs, cans, or glass objects as targets.
  • Never shoot a firearm from a road, across a road, through a body of water, or within 150 yards of a campground or private residence.
  • Always exercise due caution when handling firearms: be aware that other visitors, crews, private owners, or others could be nearby, even if they are not visible.

Hunters should take safety precautions before heading to their destination:

  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Assess current weather conditions in the forest.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when to return.
  • Be aware of the dangers of recreating in a burned forest.
  • Set up your camp away from dead trees or overhanging branches.
  • Practice “Leave No Trace” and take out all trash.

Hunting is permitted during hunting seasons designated by the State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Licenses are available online at any CDFW license sales office or license agent.

Information on California’s 2022 deer hunting areas is available on the CDFW website. The Mendocino National Forest is located within portions of deer zones A1, B1, B2, B3, and B5. Make sure you have the proper deer tag for the deer area you are hunting.

For additional questions, please email the office at [email protected].