Inspiring Families to Hunt, Fish, and Adventure Together

Hunting Kids

California Apprentice Deer Hunts

May 25, 2018

Nevada big game draw results posted today! I woke up to a text message from one of my best friends excited to share her good news of the incredible tag she drew and in that excitement, I woke the kids before the sun asking them to check their emails to learn their results! They weren’t so lucky, neither was I or Casey. Nonetheless, Cade and Quinn are already toting Utah Bull Elk tags for the upcoming season and we are still awaiting Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Wyoming draws to take place. What lucky kids! I can’t tell you how badly I wish my parents had started building preference points for me as a kid, because today, I would be drawing some pretty awesome dream tags in premier units in several states. Knowing that my kiddos are engaged in this hunting lifestyle, we have started their preference point pools in several states and we plan to invest in them as diligently as their college savings accounts.

One of our most favorite family memories, is of Cade and Quinn’s first buck hunt. A hunt that took place in Idaho a couple of years ago. Last season, Cade was able to take another buck here in California and this year, Quinn will be old enough to hold a California Deer Tag too. It has been so much fun to experience the outdoors with them in this way and I am often asked to give advice on how others can get quality deer tags in their children’s hands. Most of the time my advice is to simply apply for them. Especially here in California. Yes, several over the counter tag options exist for residents, but there are also some great premium tag opportunities here as well, such as the apprentice hunt options.

California Fish & Wildlife has established some pretty solid options for youth deer hunters to throw their hat in for an apprentice hunt tag. Applicants must be less than 18 years of age as of July 1, of the license year for which they are applying, and must possess a valid 2018-19 California Junior Hunting License. Junior hunters receiving Apprentice Deer Hunt tags must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older while hunting. There are seventeen Apprentice hunt units throughout the State and the majority of those hunts are either sex hunts, allowing young hunters the opportunity to take either a buck or a doe. AWESOME!

My favorite thing about these Apprentice Hunts is that Junior Hunters can apply for and build points for premium hunts in the regular draw on their first Deer Tag Application, while a second Deer Tag Application can be submitted for the Apprentice Hunts only. AWESOME!

Also, the tag quotas for each of these Apprentice Hunt units are equally divided by half. One half being distributed for point holders, and the other half being distributed to the random (no points) draw. Increasing odds tremendously for kids just starting out! AWESOME!

Anyhow, bottom line of this post is start building points for your kiddos in as many States, as you can reasonably afford to, now. Applying early and consistently is the key for anyone who wants the opportunity to hunt moose, sheep, mountain goats and the best units for deer, elk and antelope! And California is a great place to start! You can download the California Big Game application guide here. Lots of great opportunities right here in our home State! For more information, please do not hesitate to ask! Don’t forget to check out my Legacy Hunting Adventures webpage. Some day I will find the time to build that website, but for now, sign up for the newsletter!

June 2nd at Midnight is the California Application Deadline! Click here to apply online! Don’t waste time, get yourself and your kids entered now. And if you’d rather leave all that work to someone you can trust, just let me know! I am happy to help!

    One comment
    1. Russ gerber

      Hey I’m glad to find your website. I currently live in California and last year was my sons first year to apply. Any recommendations for youth hunts would be awesome. We live in oakdale near modesto. I’m desperate to pass this tradition on. We plan to apply for everything in the hopes of getting something. Thanks Russ

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