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AB-804 Free hunting days.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 06/07/2021 02:00 PM

Amended  IN  Senate  June 07, 2021


Assembly Bill
No. 804

Introduced by Assembly Member Megan Dahle
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Gallagher, Mathis, and Smith)
(Coauthors: Senators Dodd and Jones)

February 16, 2021

An act to amend Section 3040 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to hunting.


AB 804, as amended, Megan Dahle. Free hunting days.
Existing law authorizes the Director of Fish and Wildlife to establish 2 free hunting days per year: one in the fall, and one in the winter. Existing law authorizes a California unlicensed resident to hunt during a free hunting day if accompanied by a licensed hunter, subject to certain conditions. Existing law prohibits these provisions from being implemented until the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Automated License Data System is fully operational for at least one year.
This bill would require, rather than authorize, the director to establish 2 free hunting days per year, one in the fall and one in the spring, no later than July 1, 2022. The bill would delete the prohibition requiring a delay in implementation of the above-described provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 3040 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

 (a) Notwithstanding Section 3031, the director shall, no later than July 1, 2022, designate two days per year as “Free Hunting Days.” One free hunting day shall be established during the fall hunting season, and the other free hunting day shall be established during the spring hunting season. The department shall publish the exact dates of the free hunting days in annual publications of the department regarding current hunting regulations.
(b) During a free hunting day, a California resident may hunt if accompanied by a hunter who holds a valid hunting license issued by the State of California, has held a valid hunting license for at least the last three consecutive years, is at least 21 years of age, and accompanies only one unlicensed hunter in the field at a time. An unlicensed hunter shall participate in the free hunting days for only one license year year, and shall complete a hunter education course approved by the department and register with the department, or an agent of the department, before participating in a free hunting day. While engaged in hunting activities, an unlicensed hunter shall remain in close visual and verbal contact with the licensed hunter at all times so that the licensed hunter is able to provide adequate direction and immediately assume control of a firearm from the unlicensed hunter at any time.
(c) An unlicensed hunter who participates in a free hunting day shall have in their possession all of the following:
(1) A certificate of completion of a course in hunter education as required in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 3050.
(2) Any required tags or report cards.
(3) Any required federal entitlements.
(4) Any required entry permits.
(d) Unlicensed hunters participating in free hunting days shall not take any species that requires a draw or lottery to obtain a tag.
(e) An unlicensed hunter hunting pursuant to this section is subject to all of the limitations, restrictions, conditions, statutes, rules, and regulations applicable to the holder of a valid hunting license, except the requirement to possess a valid hunting license.
(f) The department may adopt additional minimum requirements and restrictions for a licensed hunter or an unlicensed hunter participating in a free hunting day pursuant to this section.