Hunting Northern California
Plumas County offers a variety of challenges for hunters when hunting in northern California. Deer, bear, and duck hunting are the most popular, but hunters also can bag geese, quail, band-tailed pigeons, grouse, chukar, and squirrels.
Plumas County ranks among the top five in the state for annual bear harvests. The Department of Fish and Game issues tags for California black bears by a quota system.
Deer hunting spreads throughout the county in three main zones: D3, X6a-b, and C4. Hunters must draw for a limited number of tags in the highly-prized X zones. Both X zones are toward the eastern end of Plumas County and on into Lassen County.
Bird and Waterfowl
Bird and waterfowl hunters can also have a field day in Plumas County. There is some tremendous mountain quail hunting, especially during the first week of the opener. The season begins in the fall and extends through January.
Excellent duck and geese hunting is offered at the north end of Lake Almanor near Chester. Also, good spots for ducks are Lake Davis, Frenchman Lake, Antelope Lake, and Round Valley Reservoir.
Sportsmen should check their Department of Fish and Game booklets for the boundaries of these zones and season opening dates. Or visit DFG’s website.
Visitors who might want to practice their marksmanship are invited to join local gun clubs that hold trap and target shooting events and junior trap shoots. These include the Quincy Sports Shooters Association (Gopher Hill Range), (530) 394-8390, www.quincyshooting.com; Sierra Valley Gun Club (Beckwourth Range), (530) 832-5959; and the Westwood Rifle and Pistol Club (Westwood-Lake Almanor Range), (530) 596-4116.
Phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California continues on July 1, 2016, when non-lead ammunition will be required when hunting with shotguns for upland game birds (except for dove, quail, and snipe), small game mammals, fur-bearing mammals and nongame birds except for when hunting at licensed game bird clubs. Non-lead ammunition will also be required when taking wildlife with shotguns for depredation purposes anywhere in the state.
Starting July 1, 2019, hunters must use non-lead ammunition when taking any animal anywhere in the state for any purpose.
More information on the phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/lead-free/.