Hunting in Ca. can be better than a lot of people think. You need to start applying for points in the big game drawings so you can get a premium tag in a few years or possibly sooner if you hit a random draw tag. Even some of the deer zones that are basically over the counter tags have some decent areas it just takes time to learn how to hunt those areas. Do some research and don't get too discouraged over the low success rates in some zones.
Don’t overlook small game if you are new to hunting. You can rack up many hours in the woods at a low cost. Lots of fun and skills are transferable. Not sure about squirrel hunting opportunity in CA but it’s a blast.
A few good HT members from Cali. Welcome aboard. New is a great start. The excitement and thoughts are pretty awesome. They are always there though my first few years still hold memories beyond the years following. Look forward to reading and viewing pics of your hunt / other stories.