California’s pronghorn antelope hunters are wrapping up their short seasons as California’s elk hunters are gearing up for theirs. The two groups of big game hunters are among the most tenacious – if not the luckiest – in California.

It can take many years – decades in some cases – of applying in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) annual Big Game Drawing to accumulate the preference points needed to better the chances of securing a hunting tag for either species. Therein lies the tenacity. A precious few tags are awarded every year through random drawing. Therein lies the luck. In either case, the odds are long to secure one of the most coveted big game hunting tags California has to offer. Seasons and tags for pronghorn and elk both are extremely limited and highly regulated to provide a sustainable hunting opportunity while safeguarding the overall health of California’s herds. A tag itself is by no means any guarantee of success.

For elk and pronghorn hunters, nothing is likely to radically alter these tag-drawing dynamics. Still, changes are taking place within California’s pronghorn and elk populations that are impacting hunting opportunities for both species now and likely into the future.

California is home to three species of elk – tule, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt – and CDW offers hunting opportunities for all three. Roosevelt elk and Rocky Mountain elk populations are growing in the far north and northwestern parts of the state, expanding their range in some cases, and coming into conflict more often with farmers, ranchers and other private property owners.

Expanded elk hunting opportunities are readily apparent in CDFW’s SHARE Program, more so than in CDFW’s annual Big Game Drawing, which tends to make incremental changes in tag allocations from season to season.

CDFW’s SHARE Program

Read more from our friends at Outdoor News Daily

Pin It