(a) Except as otherwise authorized by this section, it is unlawful to use an artificial light to assist in the taking of a game bird, game mammal, or game fish.
(b) It is unlawful for one or more persons to throw or cast the rays of a spotlight, headlight, or other artificial light on a highway or in a field, woodland, or forest where game mammals, fur-bearing mammals, or nongame mammals are commonly found, or upon a game mammal, fur-bearing mammal, or nongame mammal, while having in his or her possession or under his or her control a firearm or weapon with which that mammal could be killed, even though the mammal is not killed, injured, shot at, or otherwise pursued.
(c) It is unlawful to use or possess night vision equipment to assist in the taking of a bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, or fish. For purposes of this subdivision, “night vision equipment” includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) An infrared or similar light, used in connection with an electronic viewing device.
(2) An optical device, including, but not limited to, binoculars or a scope, that uses electrical or battery powered light amplifying circuits.
(d) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Sport fishing in ocean waters, or other waters where night fishing is permitted, if an artificial light is not used on or as part of the fishing tackle.
(2) Commercial fishing.
(3) The taking of mammals governed by Article 2 (commencing with Section 4180) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 4.
(4) The use of a hand-held flashlight that is no larger and emits no more light than a two-cell, three-volt flashlight, and is not affixed to a weapon.
(5) The use of a lamp or lantern that does not cast a directional beam of light.
(6) Headlights of a motor vehicle that are operated in a usual manner and without attempt or intent to locate a game mammal, fur-bearing mammal, or nongame mammal.
(7) An owner of land devoted to the agricultural industry, or the owner’s employee, while on that land.
(8) An owner of land devoted to the agricultural industry, or the owner’s employee, while on land controlled by the owner in connection with the agricultural industry.
(9) Other uses as the commission may authorize by regulation.
(e) A person shall not be arrested for violation of this section except by a peace officer.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 154, Sec. 45. (AB 1527) Effective January 1, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018