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Hopland REC Deer Hunt
4070 University Road,
4070 University Road, Hopland Research and Extension Center
Hopland, California 95449
Contact: Hannah Bird (707) 744 1424 ext 105 hbird@ucanr.edu
Sponsor: Hopland Research and Extension Center

Lottery applications for the HREC 2024 Deer Hunt will open:
9am PT, Tuesday, April 30.
Closing date for lottery applications is:
11am PT, Tuesday, May 28.
Applicants will be advised if they are offered a place/waitlisted by: Thursday, June 6.
Successful applicants must provide all supporting documentation (Firearm Authorization Form, CA hunting license, payment) by: Sunday, July 7 to secure their place.

The lottery for the 2024 deer hunt is now closed.

The UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) is a 5,358 acre property located in the Mayacamas Mountains in Mendocino County, roughly a two hour drive north of San Francisco. Owned and operated by the UC since 1951, the mission of the Center is to maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity through applied research, adaptive management, and educational activities. As a part of this mission, for decades HREC has been a recognized center for wildlife research on Colombian Black-tailed Deer, and as an integrated part of these studies HREC offers an annual deer hunt that ties into and helps support these activities.

The landscape itself is a beautiful mixture of signature Northern California habitat types: rolling open oak woodlands, chaparral covered higher elevations, annual and perennial grasslands. The property ranges from 600-3000 feet elevation and is accessible via an extensive network of both maintained all-weather dirt roads and unmaintained four-wheel drive tracks. Spread across the property are various springs, perennial natural ponds, and riparian corridors. The surrounding lands create an extensive additional wildlife refugia and are a mixture of private ranches, vineyards, and over 45,000 acres of rugged BLM land. The wildlife population is robust and diverse including black bear, mountain lions, bobcats, and most relevant to the hunting, a resident herd of Colombian black-tailed deer that current research efforts estimate in the range of 500-600 individuals. 

For most of the year, the vast majority of HREC outside of the headquarters area is lightly travelled with visitation limited to active researchers, occasional public events, and employees maintaining the property and managing the small sheep flock that grazes some of the lower pastures. Then, for a few weekends each year, the public has the chance to participate in very limited hunting for the few slots made available each year.

Controlled public deer hunting at UC ANR Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) will take place during the regular A-Zone rifle season. In 2024 HREC will host restricted ($2,300) and standard ($175) hunts.

Youths 18 years or under may apply for the hunt, but must be accompanied by an adult (either another member of the hunting party for the standard hunt, or a non-hunter for the restricted hunt/standard hunt). Our lottery system will offer priority to hunt parties comprised of 50% or more youth for the August 17 standard hunt date.

Details below:

Applications for both Restricted and Standard hunts will be by lottery in 2024 - please see the top of this page for application information and deadlines.

Price for the Restricted Hunt is $2,300/hunter + 1 non-hunter (if desired).

There are 12 total Restricted Hunt slots per season, 6 each on the first and last weekend of the A Zone season (August 9-12 and September 19-22 respectively.) 

Included in the Restricted Hunt are:

  • Three days of hunting access to the 5,358 acre HREC site (Saturday 8/10- Monday 8/12 for first weekend, Friday 9/20-Sunday 9/22 for last weekend).
  • One day of scouting immediately prior to your hunt days (Friday 8/9 for first weekend, Thursday 9/19 for last weekend). No hunting allowed during scouting trip).
  • One site consultation with an HREC staff member.
  • Detailed maps of the site and keys to access less accessible parts of the site.
  • Use of the HREC skinning shed and cooler to process your deer.
  • Access for hunter and one non-hunter if desired. 
  • Hunters are expected to provide their own CA Hunting License and deer tags.
  • One deer tag can be filled as part of this package, a second tag may be filled for an additional $500.

Price for the Standard Hunt is $175/hunter, $10 non-hunters.

There are 48 total Standard Hunt slots per season, 16 per day for August 18, 24, and 25.

Hunt parties with 50% of the hunt party consisting of youth hunters aged 18 or younger will be given priority in the lottery for the August 17 hunt date.

Included in the Standard Hunt are:

  • One day of hunting access to the 5,358 acre HREC site.
  • A map of the site.
  • Use of the HREC skinning shed and cooler to process your deer.
  • One hunter per slot, with one non-hunter if desired (for an extra $10 per non-hunter).
  • One buck harvest limit.
  • You may apply with others to form a hunt party on a selected day but each applicant will be entered into the lottery separately and only those applicants selected can access the site unless they accompany a selected hunter as the single non-hunter.
  • Hunters are expected to provide their own CA Hunting License and A-zone deer tags.


To apply for a hunt package, please:

The lottery application period for both hunts will open on April 30 at 9am PT, and close on May 28 at 11am PT.
The online registration link will be shared on this site at that time.
You will be advised on your lottery draw status on June 6.

Please remember that if you are successful in the application process you will be requested to upload the below supporting documentation (copies of supporting documentation are required for every hunting member of your party) by July 7 to secure your hunt:

  • Hunting license.
  • Completed and signed Firearm Authorization Form (the proof associated with this document will be your hunting license). 
  • Full payment.

You will find it helpful to assemble and upload this additional information as soon as possible if your application is accepted. Good photographs of supporting documentation can be uploaded where scanning is not possible. If you have problems completing the online application please call Hannah Bird at hbird@ucanr.edu or call (707) 744 1424 ext. 1642 for support.

Permits are not transferable and are valid only for the date(s) issued. All hunters must abide by HREC rules. Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. All participants must organize their own hunting licenses and deer tags, these are not part of the HREC hunt package (for either standard or restricted hunts). Payments will be requested at the time permits are granted, no payment is requested at the time of lottery application.

The lottery for the 2024 deer hunt is now closed.