|The California Department of Fish and Game in June processed the highest number of applications for big game hunt drawings in eight years, with nearly 80,000 hunters trying their luck at obtaining high-demand deer, pronghorn antelope, elk and bighorn sheep tags, the DFG said.
Karen Madrigal, big game license program coordinator, said a total of 79,799 applications were submitted for the June 13 drawings. Last year, hunters turned in 78,419 applications, the highest in the previous seven years, she said.
In all, there were 46,061 applications for so-called "premium" deer hunts. The hunts include the high-demand X zones, special hunts known as "additional opportunity" hunts and area-specific archery hunts such as those for the X zones.
The 46,061 deer applications also represented the highest number in eight years. Last year's previous high was 44,731.
A total of 11,081 hunters applied for the state's 194 pronghorn antelope tags. All but two of the tags are for hunts in the northeastern corner of California.
For the state's 11 special tule, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk hunts, some 16,895 hunters submitted applications, the second highest number in eight years. Last year's application total of 16,904 was the highest.
The 11 elk hunts have a total of 273 tags this year.
Applications for southern California's 12-tag bighorn sheep hunts numbered 5,762 this year, also the highest in eight seasons.
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