10 Public Hunting Lands in California [Update 2024]


California is renowned all across the United States for its amazing hunting lands and wildlife refuges. Hunting has been one of the most popular recreational activities among local Californians living near public hunting lands.

Additionally, the hunting lands are home to rare animals and birds that can only be seen in California, which attracts many tourists as well. Hunting lands don’t just allow people to enjoy hunting activities, but also preserve the heritage of recreational hunting in California as well.

The best public hunting lands in California are listed below.

1. Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area

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Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area is one of the best Public Hunting Lands in California

Upper Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area is one of the most popular wildlife hunting and viewing areas in California, located in Hollister. It consists of 6,300 acres of stunning hilly areas that offer recreational activities like bird-watching, hunting and wildlife viewing. Popular species of animals include Blacktail Deer, Grey Fox and 100 species of birds.

2. Los Banos Wildlife Area

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Los Banos Wildlife Area

Los Banos Wildlife Area is one of the most popular public hunting lands in California and is renowned for its birding, fishing and hunting facilities.

Being an extensive wetland area and migratory bird habitant, this place offers incredible bird and animal hunting opportunities to visitors. Founded in 1929, it has been one of the most well-documented hunting areas in California for decades.

3. Upland Game Hunting Area

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Upland Game Hunting Area is public hunting land that is very popular for bird hunting. Located in Moreno Valley, this hunting area is home to incredibly unique birds and animals that can be hunted on a seasonal basis.

Doves, quails, pheasants, and ducks are the most available animals in this area, and there are sections specified for the use of different types of weapons to use for hunting in the Upland Game Hunting Area.

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4. Oak Stone Outfitters

Oak Stone Outfitters is a hunting area in Bradley, California that offers guided hunts to its visitors. It provides big game hunts, upland bird hunts and combo hunts as well. Additionally, Oak Stone Outfitters offers visitors access to over 80,000 acres of land with incredible hunting opportunities.

This hunting area is particularly popular among deer hunters. Moreover, its guided hunts are suitable for both beginners and experts.

5. Thomas Hunting Grounds Yellow Post Sites

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Thomas Hunting Grounds Yellow Post Sites

Located in Angelus Oaks, Thomas Hunting Grounds Yellow Post Sites is a hunting area that comprises five remote sites that are also used for camping.

The most popular animals available for hunting in this area are Mule Deer, Mountain and Valley Quail, and Turkey. Furthermore, animals like Band-Tailed Pigeons, Cottontail Rabbits and Black Bears can also be hunted in this area.

6. 2M Hunting

2M Hunting is situated in Paso Robles and is a very popular place for Blacktail Deer hunting in California. Alongside hunting Blacktail Deer, you can also hunt Tule Elk, Rio Grande Turkey and boars in this area. 2M Hunting is a hunting club that offers visitors guided hunts across 75,000 acres of land on the Central Coast of California.

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7. Mendota Wildlife Area

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Mendota Wildlife Area is a massive 11,800 acres of floodplain and flatlands area in Kerman, California. This area is full of rare and wildlife species and birds, including a range of migratory birds as well.

Waterfowls and pheasants are the two most common migratory birds in this area that are available for hunting during specific seasons. However, in order to hunt in this area, you will need to gain a “Type A” hunting pass.

8. Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area

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Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area is a public hunting area in Chilcoot, California that encompasses an area of 13,200 acres. Additionally, it sits around 5,200 feet in elevation, making it one of the most elevated hunting areas in California.

Popular species of animals in this area include coyote, gray fox, bobcat, golden eagles and different varieties of hawks. However, only hunting of quail, deer, rabbits and doves are allowed in this area.

9. Frontera Hunting

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Frontera Hunting is a hunting area located in Bradley that offers guided hunts. It tries to preserve the heritage of hunting in California by establishing a safe and guided hunting experience.

Moreover, Frontera Hunting offers a variety of regions for hunting that consist of grain fields, oak trees, vineyards, rolling hills and more. Blacktail Deer, Rio Grande Turkey and California Wild Boar are the most popular hunted animals on this land.

10. San Luis Reservoir State Wildlife Area

San Luis Reservoir State Wildlife Area is a massive 902-acre hunting area in Hollister. It is a steep oak-grassland habitant that is usually from the inner coastal range.

Blacktail Deer, Grey Fox, Wild Pigs along with over 100 species of birds are found in this area. There are only 30 permits per day for deer and pig hunting at San Luis Reservoir State Wildlife Area.

California has a wide range of public hunting areas that offer many other recreational luxuries alongside hunting. Bird-watching, wildlife viewing and guided hunting facilities can also be found in these areas, and most of them require an entry pass or specialized issued hunting passes for hunting activities.

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