Apply For Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve Deer Hunts

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

(Antlered male deer in a wooded field.) Deer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve in Sacramento, California on November 25, 2022. (CDFW Photo/Travis VanZant) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

CDFW Now Accepting Applications for Expanded Deer Hunting Opportunities at Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for expanded deer hunting opportunities at the Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve in Sacramento County for the 2023 A Zone and D5 Zone archery and general seasons.

CDFW initiated a limited deer hunting program within the ecological reserve in 2021. The program proved safe and popular with hunters and was expanded in 2022, doubling the number of access permits offered. New for 2023, archery season opportunities have been added for both hunt zones.

For 2023, permits will be issued for eight separate one-week hunting periods – four permits for the A Zone and four for the D5 Zone seasons that fall within the reserve’s boundaries. Each permit will accommodate up to two hunters. Only archery equipment may be used during the A Zone and D5 Zone archery seasons. Only archery equipment or shotguns with nonlead slugs may be used during the general season hunt dates. Rifles, pistols or muzzleloaders will not be allowed due to safety concerns. Harvest is limited to one legal buck per hunter per access period.

The A Zone hunts take place in July through September within the reserve’s Arno Unit, located west of Highway 99. The D5 Zone hunts are offered in late August through October within the reserve’s Dillard Unit, east of Highway 99.

Hunters can download the applications online at the Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve web page. Hunters can also request an access permit application by calling CDFW’s Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Applications may be submitted via e-mail to or mailed to CDFW’s Rancho Cordova office at 1701 Nimbus Road, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.

For the A Zone, Arno Unit archery hunt, applications must be received by 2 p.m. on July 18, 2023. For the A Zone Arno Unit general hunts, applications must be received by 2 p.m. on July 28, 2023. For the D5 Zone Dillard Unit archery and general hunts, applications must be received by 2 p.m. on Aug. 4, 2023. Permits will be awarded by a computerized, random drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail or phone call/text message within two working days of the drawing, and will receive additional information, including maps and special instructions, prior to the hunt. Results will not be given over the phone.

Up to two people may apply for the hunt as one party by including all required information on the application form. Junior hunting license holders who are 12 years of age or older may also apply if accompanied by an adult hunter. Applicants may apply for one access permit on one area only. An individual’s name may appear in the drawing only once. Any additional or duplicate applications will be disqualified from the drawing.

Hunters selected for an access permit for the Arno Unit (A Zone) or Dillard Unit (D5 Zone) must possess the necessary A Zone, D3-5 Zones or Archery Only deer tag for the 2023 season. All hunters selected for a permit must also possess a 2023-24 California hunting license.