For the first time ever, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will raffle off two “Golden Opportunity” fundraising deer tags to the general hunting public that would allow the individual to take any legal buck by any legal means anywhere in the state beginning July 10 through the end of the year.
The rare tags are typically sold at auction by partnering, nonprofit wildlife conservation organizations to raise funds for big game management, habitat and scientific research. In 2019, the Golden Opportunity tags brought an average price of $48,200 each. This year, two of the tags will be available to the hunting public through CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee.
Additionally, CDFW will also hold drawings for open zone deer tags, which allow hunters to hunt in any deer zone of their choice during the open season. Four tags will be made available to hunters in CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee — an increase from the typical one open zone deer tag offered in the drawing in previous years.
“The hunting public truly has some amazing opportunities this year to win a dream hunt for the price of just a few dollars,” said Stafford Lehr, CDFW deputy director for wildlife and fisheries, in a press release. “COVID-19 disrupted the operations of many of the conservation organizations we partner with to help sell these tags and raise critical funds for wildlife. As a result, we have some very special deer hunts to add and offer up through our fundraising tag raffle this year.”
In 2019, the auction of five Golden Opportunity deer tags collectively raised $241,000 for conservation. The auction of five open zone deer tags in 2019 generated a combined $50,000.
There are no limits on application purchases, and winners are awarded the tags at no additional cost. Applications for both tags are on sale now through June 2 on the CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services website and at retail agents statewide that sell California hunting and fishing licenses.