BLM Land

Hunting and Shooting on
Bureau of Land Management Public Lands


Hunting is permitted on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). State of California hunting regulations must be followed on Federal Lands. All hunting in the California Desert is regulated by the California Department of Fish and Game. You must have a valid hunting license. It is your responsibility to know all laws and regulations related to the use of firearms in California.

Is legal hunting permitted on public lands? Yes. You must have a valid hunting license.

Are there areas on public lands which are closed to legal hunting? Yes. You may not hunt near BLM campgrounds or within Off-Highway Vehicle areas. There are exceptions in certain areas, contact the nearest BLM Field Office.

Does the BLM have hunting maps? No. Hunting maps are available from the California Fish and Game and from sporting goods stores and gun shops.

Where can I get topographic maps? Topographic maps are for sale from engineering firms and sporting goods stores. You can also order on-line from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). BLM does not have topographic maps for sale.

Does BLM have other maps for sale? Yes. The BLM maps, known as “Desert Access Guides” are for sale in the California Desert District Office in Moreno Valley and in each of the five field offices. They sell for $4.00 each, show public and private land ownership, and are at a scale of one-half inch to the mile.

Can I drive anywhere I care to on public lands when I am hunting? No. Vehicles are restricted to designated routes of travel as posted and as shown on BLM maps. Vehicles are prohibited in all wilderness areas. Cross-country travel is permitted only in the off-highway vehicle areas.

Target Shooting is allowed on public lands, unless posted “No Shooting”. County shooting ordinances and codes must be followed on Federal Lands. In addition, you must provide your own targets and remove your debris and targets when you leave.


The BLM adheres to the guidelines issued by the State of California, Department of Justice regarding the types of weapons allowed for use on public lands. Weapons such as assault weapons may or may not be allowed on particular public lands, depending on local or county ordinances for that particular area. It is imperative that the nearest BLM Field Office be contacted for local guidance.

Rules and Regulations:

Numerous shooting laws exist and cover various aspects of firearms use such as: shooting across highways and ways open to the public, shooting within city limits, carrying concealed weapons, the possession of loaded weapons in vehicles, and discharging weapons on private land. You should be aware of local and county codes pertaining to these types of rules and regulations.

Important point to remember:

** Check with local sheriff or land management agencies before using an area for shooting. Do not shoot on private land without the owner’s permission.

** Find a safe backdrop to shoot into. Shots fired across open desert can travel up to two miles or more in distance.

** Shoot only retrievable, freestanding targets. It is illegal to shoot trees, bottles, or other objects. Take all used targets with you.

** Do not shoot within 150 yards of any man-made object, camp, domestic livestock, or occupied dwelling.

** Play safe and use caution. Shooting has a great risk for injuring people at great distances.

BLM California Desert District Field Offices
California Desert District Office Ridgecrest Field Office
22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos 300 S. Richmond Rd
Moreno Valley, CA 92553 Ridgecrest, CA 93555
909-697-5200 760-384-5400

Palm Springs Field Office El Centro Field Office
690 W. Garnet Ave 1661 So. 4th Ave
No. Palm Springs, CA 92258 El Centro, CA 92243
760-251-4800 760-337-4400

Barstow Field Office Needles Field Office
2601 Barstow Rd 101 W. Spikes Rd
Barstow, CA 92242 Needles, CA 92363
760-252-6000 760-326-7000

as of 27 April 2004


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