WILLOWS, CA, 8/10/22 — All public land within the Mendocino National Forest is currently open to hunting, excluding Sheet Iron Mountain State Game Refuge north of the Snow Mountain Wilderness, Mendocino National Forest officials announced in a news release Tuesday. Ahead of deer hunting season and other season openings this August, officials reminded the public that several trails and campgrounds remain closed, and new closures can occur at any time due to wildfires or other hazards.
Hunting is permitted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), which allows hunting of animals including deer, bear, waterfowl, and wild pig during designated hunting seasons. Licenses are available online and through any CDFW sales office or license agent.
The 2022 California Deer Hunt Zones are detailed online; The Mendocino National Forest falls within parts of the A1, B1, B2, B3, and B5 deer zones.
“Please make sure you have the appropriate deer tag on you for the deer zone you are hunting in,” officials advised.
Fire restrictions are in effect in Mendocino National Forest, where fire danger remains high. Officials recommend that visitors check the forest’s website for up-to-date alerts and warnings. Smoking outside of buildings or enclosed vehicles, welding, the use of explosives, or offroading in a motor vehicle is prohibited; there are also prohibitions on campfires or stove fires outside designated fire-safe recreation sites and wilderness areas.
“The decision to move into fire restrictions is based on fuel moisture levels and predicted weather conditions,” Fire Management Officer Curtis Coots said in a prior news release. “We want to help protect undeveloped areas of the forest and our surrounding communities.”
Forest visitors may use firearms if they carry and use them in a safe manner while complying with state and county laws.
Other safety requirements include:
- Do not use trees, signs, cans, or glass objects for targets.
- Never discharge a firearm from a road, across a road, across a body of water, or within 150 yards of a campground or private residence.
- Always exercise proper caution when handling firearms: keep in mind that other visitors, crews, private landowners, or others could be nearby, even if they aren’t visible.
Forest officials also recommend the following safety precautions:
- Check the weather forecast.
- Assess current weather conditions in the forest.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.
- Be aware of the hazards of recreating in a burned forest.
- Set up your camp away from dead trees or hanging limbs.
- Practice “Leave No Trace” and carry out all trash.