The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for a limited number of deer and pig hunting permits for opening weekend of the A Zone general season, Aug. 12 and 13. This is not a special hunt, but rather a drawing to control the number of hunters on popular public land during opening weekend.
Locations for this hunt include Upper and Lower Cottonwood Creek and the San Luis Reservoir wildlife areas, both in western Merced County. Reservations are required to access the wildlife areas during opening weekend and only 30 permits will be issued for each day, Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13.
Hunters can download the application online at wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/cottonwood-creek-wa. Hunters may also request an access permit application by calling CDFW’s Los Banos office at (209) 826-0463 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Applications may be submitted via email to Ryan Jones at Ryan.Jones@wildlife.ca.gov or mailed to CDFW’s Los Banos office at 18110 W. Henry Miller Avenue, Los Banos, CA 93635.
Only official applications will be accepted and must be received before 4 p.m. on July 7, 2023. Reservations will be selected by a computerized drawing at 11 a.m. on July 10. The drawing will be open to the public. Successful applicants will be notified by mail within five working days of the drawing. Results will not be given over the phone.
Up to three people may apply for the hunt as one party by including all required information on the A Zone application form. Junior license holders who are 12 years of age or older may also apply if accompanied by an adult hunter.
Applicants may apply for a one-day hunt on one area only. An individual’s name may appear in the drawing only once and additional or duplicate applications will be disqualified from the drawing.
All hunters are required to use non-lead ammunition when hunting with a firearm anywhere in California.