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The Sonoma County Bowmen Hunting Awards Program is designed to acknowledge the accomplishments of members who choose to hunt wild game using archery equipment.  It is not intended to be a competition, but rather recognition of the effort it takes to harvest an animal.  As a responsible, ethical bowhunter, it is your responsibility to know the regulations of the states in which you hunt.

We welcome members to share their hunting tips and stories (even if you do not shoot something – killing an animal is a bonus).  Articles and photos can be sent to the Hunting Vice-President throughout the year.

The following criteria and animal classification will be the basis for the big and small game awards through the club.

The rules

  • Eligibility for awards is limited to active members at the time taken.
  • All animals must be taken using archery equipment.  This includes long bow, recurve or compound bows.  A crossbow is not considered archery equipment.
  • All animals must be taken legally, ethically and in accordance with the hunting regulations of the state where the animal was harvested.  They will be classified as big or small game per that state’s regulations.
  • There shall be no geographical restrictions, either as to the residence of the claimant, or to the location in which the game is secured.
  • Awards will be given to each hunter submitting an application and picture for only their first example of each species.
  • A “Hunter of the Year Award” will be given to the outstanding member selected by the Hunting Committee.  This award may also be presented to an outstanding member for his/her work in promoting archery/hunting.


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Big Game recognition

small Game recognition


Expert Bowhunter

Master Bowhunter

Big Game Defined
Small Game Defined
Big Game Defined

“Big game” means the following:  (as described in subsection 4902(b) of the California Fish and Game Code)

  • Deer (whitetail, mule, & blacktail will be allowed as different animals)
  • Wild pig, feral pigs, European wild pigs and their hybrids
  • Elk
  • Pronghorn antelope
  • Black bear
  • Nelson bighorn sheep
  • Caribou
  • Moose
  • Mountain lion
  • Wild turkey (will also be included as big game)

The following non-game animals will also be included under big game:

  • Fallow deer, sambar deer, axis deer, sika deer
  • Coyote
  • Souse
  • Aoudad
  • Mouflon
  • Tahr
  • Feral goats

Small Game Defined

“Resident small game” means the following resident game birds:

  • Chinese spotted doves
  • Ringed turtledoves of the family Columbidae
  • California quail and varieties thereof
  • Gambel or desert quail, mountain quail and varieties thereof
  • Blue grouse and varieties thereof, ruffed grouse, sage grouse
  • Hungarian partridges, redlegged partridges, including the chukar & other varieties
  • Ring-necked pheasants and varieties
  • White-tailed ptarmigan
  • American crow
  • Band-tail pigeon

and the following game mammals:

  • Jackrabbits and varying hares
  • Cottontail rabbits, brush rabbits
  • Tree squirrels
  • Waterfowl (will also be included as small game).

The following Furbearing mammals will also be included under small game:

  • Badger
  • Beaver
  • Bobcat
  • Gray fox
  • Muskrat
  • Mink
  • Raccoon

The following non-game animals will also be included under small game:

  • English Sparrow
  • Starling
  • Opossum
  • Weasels
  • Skunks
  • Moles
  • Rodents
  • Ground squirrels

Native amphibians, reptiles, legal fish may be taken under the authority of a sport fishing license and will be included under small game.

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