Tag Archives: deer hunting

Releasing Pet Ducks to the Wild?

It is not legal to release pet ducks into the wild (USFWS photo)

Releasing domestic animals to the wild is not only illegal, but most are not prepared to take care of themselves in the wild. Our pets are usually dependent upon humans for food and protection, so when released to the wild to fend for themselves, many will end up starving to death or falling prey to any number of predators. (USFWS photo)

Question: I have some ducks that I would like to find a good home for but I’m not sure where to start. They have been pets and I don’t want to eat them or risk giving them to someone else who will eat them. I’d like to release them into the wild and am hoping you can advise where I can do this. I’m willing to donate them someplace as long as I know they won’t get eaten. (Mike)

Answer: I understand you are seeking a good home for your pets, but releasing domestic animals into the wild is a bad plan and often has disastrous results. Typically, domestic animals depend on humans for food and are ill-equipped to take care of themselves in the wild. When released to the wild, many end up starving to death or falling prey to any number of predators.

If the animals do survive, they often become a nuisance in their new home and may cause damage because they tend to seek out people for food. Domestic animals also compete for resources with wildlife, and in some cases may breed with their wild counterparts which reduces the genetic fitness of wildlife populations. There is also a real possibility of introducing domestic diseases to wildlife that have no immunity. This may cause die-offs, sometimes quite massive ones. In addition to all of this, it is also against the law. Any person who willfully abandons an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor under California Penal Code, section 597s.

You might try posting a notice at a local farm or agricultural store because many of these stores regularly sell domestic ducklings. You could also search for petting zoos or small city zoos to see if they may be interested in giving them a good home. If that doesn’t work out, try advertising on the Internet. You might also check with local schools and ask friends.

Bottom line … you have a number of options to explore in your quest to find a new home for your feathered friends, but releasing them into the wild should not be one of the them.


Selling abalone jewelry
Question: I’ve recently been to a few beaches where I’ve found red abalone shells that have washed up on the shore. I’ve collected a few shell fragments and have made jewelry from them. Friends of mine have shown the items to others and now they want me to make them items as well. My questions is … Is it illegal for me to collect red abalone shells and then make jewelry, then sell them to friends, and so forth? I’ve gotten mixed answers from the Web and have tried to navigate your Website. I have seen no definitive answer. If anyone could respond to this it would be great. (Matt R.)

Answer: You may give the shells away or use them for personal use, but shells collected under the authority of sport fishing license cannot be legally bought, sold, traded or bartered.

People often ask what they can do with their old abalone shells. We get requests for shells from Native American tribes who use them for ceremonial purposes. Shells can be donated directly to a Native American Tribe, or they can be given to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and we will distribute them to Native Americans when we get requests.


Deer decoys
Question: I know that baiting for big game is illegal in California, but what about using deer decoys to attract deer to a certain location when deer hunting? (Matt W.)

Answer: Yes, decoys are legal to use while deer hunting in California. However, decoys that employ any recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal call or sound is illegal to use for big game.


Transporting smoked/canned fish
Question: We have a vacation house on the North Coast where we spend a lot of time ocean fishing and enjoy smoking and/or canning our fish. How can we legally transport this processed fish back to our home in the valley? (Jim S., Redding)

Answer: As long as you possess only the legal limit and the fish were taken legally, transporting these fish as smoked or canned is not a problem. Regardless of whether they are fresh, frozen, or otherwise preserved, no more than one possession limit may be possessed by any one person (CCR Title 14, section 1.17).

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Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

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What to Do When Deer Tag is Lost in the Field?

Hunters in the field must carry valid licenses and tags (Photo courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation)

When a hunter in the field discovers they have lost their license and/or tag, they should unload their rifle and immediately leave the field (Photo courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation)

Question: When hunting, a valid hunting license and a valid deer tag for the specific zone is required to be in the immediate possession of the hunter (Fish and Game Code, section § 4336).

What happens if while in the field hunting, the hunter becomes aware that his or her hunting license and/or deer tag have been lost? What is the proper way to exit the field without risk of receiving a citation for failing to carry the hunting license and/or valid deer tag?

What can or should be done if the hunter, after dispatching a deer, discovers his/her valid deer tag is missing?

In these hypothetical situations I am assuming the hunter could prove that a hunting license and deer tag were purchased because the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) track all license and tag information through its unique GO ID number system. (George C.)

Answer: As soon as you realize you have lost your license and/or tag, you should unload your rifle and immediately leave the field.Wife&Husband deer hunting_NSSF_sm

While we can go back and check the computer database to see if you have purchased a hunting license and the appropriate deer tag, the law requires that the license and tag be in your possession so that the warden can confirm you are licensed without stopping to call in to the system (which is not always accessible from the field). Some poachers use this excuse to avoid filling out their tag, so a warden might start asking you a lot of questions. If you didn’t discover that your license and tag were missing until you went to tag your deer, you’re in a tough situation.  Do your best to document that you took the deer, and intended to report it. You are still in violation of the law, since you have the deer and have not tagged it, but there are some steps you can take to show that you did everything in your power to try to fix it.

Once you have cell phone service, call your local CDFW office or CalTIP and tell them what happened. Stop at the first place you can to have someone that can countersign tags look at it, and ask them for their name and contact information.  If you haven’t already made contact with a warden, continue to try to do so, and if there’s a local CDFW office and it’s open, give them a call and see if you can go there. You will need to buy a duplicate tag and get the tag completed as quickly as possible. Sometimes it is hard to tell our hunters from our poachers, so in a situation like this, do the best you can to show the warden you’re acting in good faith, and our wardens always try to do the same.

It is incumbent upon the hunter to have all licenses and documents with them before going out into the field, not after pulling the trigger.


Restaurant is illegally purchasing fish
Question: I work in a restaurant that continually sells fish that have been given to the chef by local spear fishermen. Is this illegal and should it be reported? (Jeff, Anaheim)

Answer: Both the chef and the local spear fishermen are in violation of Fish and Game laws and can be cited for buying and selling sport caught fish. Fish caught via a sport fishing license may not be bought, sold, traded or bartered (FGC, section 7121). Commercial fishermen are only allowed to fish in certain areas, because some areas are polluted, and also to protect the fish populations. Even if the local spear fishermen did have commercial fishing licenses, they would all still be in violation as a spear is not a legal method of take for commercial fishing.

I suggest you contact CalTIP at our toll-free number of (888) 334-CalTIP or (888) 334-2258). You can do so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may remain anonymous and may even collect a reward if your tip results in a conviction.


Selling African wildlife?
Question: Is it lawful to sell a taxidermied African lion in California?

Answer: African lions are not regulated under California law, but you should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if there are any federal restrictions on trade in African lions.


Second rod stamp required for youth?
Question: My son is 11 years old. When I take him fishing at the lake and he fishes from shore, can he fish with two rods or must he stick with one rod only? (H. Tran)

Answer: Your son can fish with two rods. However, once he turns 16 he will need a fishing license and a second rod stamp in order to fish with two rods.

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Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Lobster Fishing Changes Coming?

DFG Marine Biologist Travis Buck holds a California spiny lobster caught in a traditional hoop net (DFG photo)

CDFG Marine Biologist Travis Buck holds a California spiny lobster caught in a traditional hoop net (CDFG photo)

Question: Why do lobster report cards run calendar year (Jan. to Dec) instead of from the beginning of the season to the end (Oct. to March)? It seems it would be less labor-intensive and more accurate to receive landing data once a year rather than twice a year, and you wouldn’t be charging fishermen double to be able to fish the full season. (Jack)

Answer: Lobster report cards run calendar year because they have been linked to fishing licenses, which have always run calendar year. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is not “charging double” because a report card purchased in early January can be used for the last 2-1/2 months of one lobster season, and the first three months of the next lobster season.

However, your question is timely. The Fish and Game Commission is considering changing lobster report cards to run through the season beginning in October with the 2013-2014 lobster season. This is possible with the recent implementation of the Automated License Data System (ALDS). Under the proposal, the new deadline for the return of seasonal lobster report cards would be April 30. Anyone who fails to return or is late returning their report card by the deadline will be charged a $20 non-return fee when purchasing a lobster report card for the following season. Details and full language of the regulation change proposal are posted at:  www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2013/. If you’d like to provide comments to the Fish and Game Commission, the deadline is March 5 and you can do so by e-mail at www.fgc.ca.gov/contact/.

One of the main reasons for the institution of a report card was to determine the number of sport fishermen who target lobster and the number of lobsters that are being taken. Nearly 30,000 lobster report cards were sold each year from 2008-2011, and more than 37,000 cards were sold in 2012. By contrast, there are  about 150 active commercial lobster fishermen. CDFW is mandated by state law to manage the lobster resource, which includes both the commercial and recreational lobster fisheries.

The CDFW is currently developing a Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP).  Details at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/lobsterfmp/.

For lobster report card data summaries, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/lobsterfmp/lit.asp.


Alabama rig revisited
Question: I work for a Southern California county lake and saw a new rig that is being sold in stores known as the “Alabama Rig.” It consists of a set-up where you can clip 3-5 lures onto a swivel-type attachment to make it appear like a school of bait fish. I try to stay current with the state freshwater regulations so I can keep fishermen informed as well. I remember seeing in the current state freshwater regulations that there is a maximum two hook set-up per line. Are these “rigs” legal to use? I would greatly appreciate your answer. (Matt T.)

Answer: Yes, an Alabama rig may be used, but only when modified to use no more than three hooks. When the Alabama rig is configured to comply with California law, many call it a California Rig. See a previous entry on Alabama rigs from this column at http://californiaoutdoors.wordpress.com/2011/12/page/2/.


Is it legal to hunt with my .223 caliber AR 15?
Question: Unless laws change by the time the season opens, will I be able to hunt deer in California with a .223 caliber AR 15? (John C.)

Answer: Fish and Game hunting laws authorize using any firearm rifle using centerfire cartridges for taking deer, as long as the firearm is otherwise legal to possess in California. Although the caliber is legal, the .223 round is considered by most big game hunters to be too small for the take of deer.


Selling antique deer heads and a deer antler chandelier?
Question: I’m an antique dealer in Riverside County and have an old deer head and a deer antler chandelier. Is it permissible to sell these items in my shop? (Sharon C.)

Answer: Yes and no. If those birds or mammals are found in the wild in California, the sale or purchase of those animals, and/or their parts, is prohibited (Fish and Game Code, section 3039). If the items you have are made from species of deer NOT found in California (e.g. white-tailed deer, caribou, reindeer, etc.), then you may sell them. Only black-tail and mule deer occur naturally in California. However, shed antlers or antlers taken from domestically-reared animals that have been manufactured into products or handcraft items, or that have been cut into blocks or units which are to be handcrafted, may be purchased or sold.

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Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.


Shipping Venison to the Troops Overseas?

Mule deer (by David Hannigan, CNDR)

Mule deer (by David Hannigan, CNDR)

Question: We are interested in shipping sealed venison packages to the troops overseas. Are there any California laws that prohibit this? The sealed venison will consist of packages of 50 to 100 pounds. If you could please advise us of any regulations or guidelines related to the shipping of sealed game to troops overseas, it would be greatly appreciated. (Anonymous)

Answer: There are no laws that prohibit the shipping of venison from California as long as the animals were lawfully taken in accordance with California Fish and Game laws, including seasons, limits, and gender restrictions. In addition, any  package being shipped by common carrier must bear the name and address of the shipper and/or the consignee, and an accurate description of the numbers and kinds of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles or amphibians contained in the package clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside (Fish and Game Code, section 2348.) Federal laws have similar marking requirements. For details, go to www.fws.gov.

However, whether or not the military will accept sealed venison from a private citizen is another issue. Contact them directly for details.


Feeding park squirrels?
Question: I have been warned three times this year by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy that the next time I am caught feeding squirrels at the local park, I will get a ticket. The deputy stated they enforce state regulations. However, I fed them foods that are safe; food from pet stores such as pigeon feed and raw unshelled peanuts.  There are no signs posted in the park where I visit but I was told it’s still a violation.

There are really no food sources for these animals at the park and I don’t want to see malnourished animals. Please let me know the specific law covering this subject since I have not been able to find it online. I will abide by whatever the law says. This may seem to be an unimportant matter, but to me as a senior, it becomes a quality of life issue. Thank you. (Tamara M.)

Answer: The deputy is correct. By feeding wildlife, you are likely disrupting the animals’ normal behavior patterns in violation of California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251.1. Some local ordinances also prohibit feeding wildlife.

It’s important not to feed wildlife because feeding brings animals into close proximity with each other, which puts them at greater risk of exposure to diseases and the droppings of the other animals, especially from large populations of birds in a relatively small area. If the animals expect the food, they will stay in the area and may create a public health and water quality issue. Also, even the healthiest pet food and seeds they get from people could never duplicate the diet they would get eating the food found in their natural environment. If the natural food supply in an area decreases, that is a signal to the animals to move to a different area.

See additional information regarding feeding wildlife online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/LivingWithWildlife/.


What’s legal as live bait?
Question: I fish the ocean waters off Mendocino and Humboldt counties from a sport boat and target lingcod and other groundfish. My question is can I use live sanddabs and small black and blue rockfish to catch lingcod? (Jason S.)

Answer: Yes, you can catch these species to then use for bait in ocean waters as long as they are all taken and possessed legally. All seasons, bag and size limits apply, even if rendered to be bait to use for lingcod and other large fish species. They also must be counted toward your bag limit.


Why the new sturgeon regulations?
Question: What’s so special about sturgeon that the new regulations and measures are required? (Jeff D., Modesto)

Answer: Green sturgeon is a threatened species and white sturgeon has long been a substantial management concern. To protect sturgeon populations and the vibrant white sturgeon fishery, the Department and Commission have emphasized sturgeon enforcement, research, fishing regulations, passage improvements (e.g. at bypass weirs on the Sacramento River) and outreach.  The State legislature is also aware of the sturgeon issue, and in 2007 implemented a law (AB 1187; DeSaulnier). This law made it easier for CDFW wildlife officers to charge poachers with illegal commercialization of sturgeon and the law drastically increased the fines for illegal commercialization of sturgeon.

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Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Prohibited from Retrieving Deer from Private Property

Mule deer (Photo courtesy of UDWR)

Question: I recently shot a doe with my A31 tag in Los Angeles County (Archery Only-Either Sex). It appeared to be a lethal shot from 22 yards with decent shot placement. I tracked the blood to a privately owned ranch 100 yards away. I stopped tracking it when it appeared she went onto the ranch property. I then approached the ranch manager to get permission to continue tracking my deer. The owner initially agreed but after one of her coworkers talked to her, she retracted her permission (approximately 10 minutes from the time we spoke in her office). She requested that we leave her property at once as she didn’t want people to think they approved of hunting. I didn’t have enough time to locate my deer and left broken-hearted.

I don’t like seeing animals die or suffer for no reason. I would never have shot if I would have known I couldn’t recover her. I believe I did everything legal and correct but it shouldn’t be right that a deer goes to waste because of the bias of a property manager.

Is there anything I could have done to recover my deer? Do I have any rights or is there anyone I could have contacted? I’m still sick over the situation. (Luke G., Loma Linda)

Answer: It’s unfortunate that this happened. Although the law prevents one from wasting the deer, the law does not permit the trespass to retrieve it. Perhaps, if you’d contacted the local game warden, they may have been able to contact the ranch manager or owner for some possible assistance to prevent the deer from going to waste.

According to Department of Fish and Game Lt. Todd Tognazzini, when archery hunting it is recommended to hunt farther from private property boundaries to avoid this type of problem as deer taken with archery usually travel farther after a lethal wound than those shot with a rifle. Tognazzini says he has never been refused when a fresh and legitimate blood trail is found leaving public land onto private property.


Live Mouth Bass for sale?
Question: I recently noticed an advertisement in the seafood section of our local Los Angeles Hong Kong supermarket newspaper where they are selling “Live Mouth Bass.” Is there really such a fish? The picture looks like they are largemouth bass. I didn’t think our precious game fish could be sold for food. If these are largemouth bass, is it legal to sell them in the market? (Doc H., Walnut)

Answer: I am not aware of a species called “live mouth bass.”  It is not legal to sell largemouth bass caught in the wild or under the authority of a sport fishing license. Often times the Asian markets have aquariums where they display live fish for sale. Largemouth bass can be sold if acquired from a private aquaculture facility with appropriate sales receipts.


Remote controlled boat
Question: I have a remote controlled boat approximately 36 inches long with a remote GPS and fish-finder system located on the boat. On the back of the boat there is a small box containing a baited hook. The hook is connected to a line with an attached weight. Once the boat is located in the area I’ve chosen, the line can be remotely deployed. The line (which can be as much as 2,000 ft. long) is also connected to the fishing pole I hold onshore. Once the line has been deployed, the boat is returned to shore. With a California fishing license, can I use this at lakes or at the beach? (Ron C.)

Answer: Yes, as long as the rod is hand-held or closely attended and the fish voluntarily takes the bait or lure. For a description of “angling” and the legal methods authorized for taking fish, please review sections 1.05 and 2.00 in the Freshwater Fishing Regulations booklet available wherever fishing licenses are sold or online at http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/. Angling under this definition is not required in ocean waters.


Hunting predators when a bear responds to the calls
Question: If I am out hunting predators using a call, and it is during bear season, and I have a bear tag … if a bear comes in on the call, can I kill the bear?

Answer:Yes, unless they are electronic calls. It is unlawful to use any recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird or mammal calls or sounds …to take game birds/mammals (Fish and Game Code, section 3012).

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 Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.

Any Difference Between Baiting vs. Attractants?

The use of any substance (real or artificial) that is capable of attracting an animal to an area, and when used causes the animal to feed (on the substance), is prohibited. (Photo by Carrie Wilson)

Question: What are the differences between baiting and attractants? I know baiting is illegal but was curious about attractants. What qualifies something as an attractant? Can you please define and differentiate? (Josh L.)

Answer: There is no difference … bait is an attractant and an attractant is bait.

No specific definition is provided in Fish and Game laws for these terms, but the definition of “baited area” in the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 257.5 is helpful.

It states in part: “Resident game birds and mammals may not be taken within 400 yards of any baited area. (a) . . . baited area shall mean any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered . . . “

Under this regulation, the use of any substance (real or artificial) that is capable of attracting an animal to an area and when used causes the animal to feed (on the substance) is prohibited. Generally, aerosols sprayed into the air are permissible because there is nothing to feed on. But the same products applied to a surface (e.g. tree, brush, rock, etc.) where the animal licks, eats, chews, nibbles, etc. the surface is considered feed and is a violation.

In addition, intentional acts that disrupt any birds’ or mammals’ normal behavior patterns (CCR T14, section 251.1) as well as feeding big game mammals (CCR T14, section 251.3) are prohibited.

For the complete regulations, please go to http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/ to find the California Mammal Hunting Regulations for 2012-2013.


Casting nets for catching own bait?
Question: I want to use a net to cast and catch my own bait rather than continue to buy bait at the stores. Is it legal to do so? I do most of my fishing in lakes and I see shads and minnows I would like to catch. I can’t seem to find any information on the website that relates to catching your own bait and if you could what are the sizes of the nets that I can use. Any information or alternatives in regard to this would really help. (Khanh Vu)

Answer: Unfortunately, the device you describe (commonly called a throw net, casting net or Hawaiian throw net) is not legal to use in freshwater. Approved baitfish may be taken only by hand, with a dip net, or with traps not over three feet in greatest dimension (CCR Title 14, section 4.05. In addition, possession of these nets in inland waters or within 100 yards of any canal, river, stream, lake or reservoir is a violation of state law (CCR Title 14, section 2.09).


Where does inland end and ocean begin?
Question: I would like to fish with two rods in the Delta but don’t know whether the regulations are in the freshwater books or in the ocean books. Is the Delta part of the ocean regulations or is it considered inland waters? Where does it change from ocean to inland if considered inland? (Brian S., Felton)

Answer: You can legally fish in the waters of the Delta with a second rod stamp. Inland regulations apply from upstream of the Delta to Carquinez Bridge. The definition of inland waters vs ocean waters is, “Inland waters are all the fresh, brackish and inland saline waters of the state, including lagoons and tidewaters upstream from the mouths of coastal rivers and streams. Inland waters exclude the waters of San Francisco and San Pablo bays downstream from the Carquinez Bridge, the tidal portions of rivers and streams flowing into San Francisco and San Pablo bays, and the waters of Elkhorn Slough …” (CCR Title 14, section 1.53).


Hunting with a 30-30 but dispatching with a .22?
Question: If I hunt deer with a 30-30 cal, can I carry a .22 pistol at the same time (not to shoot deer)? And if I wound a deer with the 30-30 cal, can I kill the wounded deer with the .22 cal? (John D., Ramona)

Answer: Yes, it is legal to carry a .22 caliber rimfire pistol while taking deer during an open rifle season. No, you may not kill a wounded deer with any rimfire cartridge (see California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 353). If hunting in Condor Country, remember that your pistol ammunition must also be lead-free.


Non-lead Bullets for Squirrels in Condor Country?
Question: If I am a land owner or a land owner’s agent engaged in squirrel depredation in the condor area, do I have to use non-lead bullets? (John B.)

Answer: Yes, even if you are using rimfire ammunition to shoot nongame mammals, the use of projectiles containing lead is prohibited in the condor range. (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, sections 355 and 475.)

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Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.

Catching and Selling California’s Wild Snakes

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (USFWS photo)

Question: My 11-year-old son is interested in catching snakes to make some money for the summer. Are there any requirements? I am wondering about the regulations, permits and licenses needed to catch or sell wild snakes in California. I have read and believe I understand all of the regulations pertaining to this but I want to be sure.  Please verify:

I must have a standard resident fishing license and can catch them by hand or with a snake hook, snake tongs or a lizard noose. I am allowed four gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) and four common kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula). In most other cases, I am permitted to catch and possess two snakes of other species unless otherwise posted.

I understand that I can catch these at any time, day or night, and at any time of year. I also understand that I can kill rattlesnakes at any time of year, with or without a license, in any manner.

I also understand that if I purchase a Native Reptile Captive Propagation Permit I would be authorized to, for commercial purposes or non-commercial purposes, sell, possess, transport, import, export or propagate native reptiles.

If my son or I caught a gopher snake by hand in a national forest, could I legally hold it for three days in a home terrarium and then sell it to a pet store? Is there anything wrong with this? Are there other permits or licenses not mentioned but that I am responsible for?

Where can I find the details and what all is entailed in purchasing a Native Reptile Captive Propagation Permit?  How do I know I am obeying all the rules? (Brett)

Answer: No reptiles taken under the authority of a sport fishing license may be sold. Only the offspring of rosy boas, California king snakes and gopher snakes can be sold under a Native Reptile Captive Propagation permit.

A person with a Biological Supply House permit may collect a variety of species, but can only sell to science or educational institutions.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Capt. Phil Nelms, any person under the age of 16 may take and possess their own limit of the reptiles and amphibian species listed in the Fresh Water Sport Fishing Regulations, but they may not sell them. They are not required to obtain a Sport Fishing License.

Reptiles taken from the wild and held or hatched in captivity may not be returned to the wild.

For more information regarding the requirements, fees and application process for obtaining a Native Reptile Captive Propagation Permit, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/specialpermits/.


Throw nets
Question: I cannot find anything in the ocean regulations pertaining to net casting. Is it legal to use a net to catch bait fish between Morro Bay and Pismo Beach? (Dewey S.)

Answer: Throw nets may be used in that area, but only for herring, Pacific staghorn sculpin, shiner surfperch, surf smelt, topsmelt, anchovies, shrimp or squid. The regulation says throw nets may be used only north of Point Conception for those species (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 28.80).


Game Feeders
Question: Can game feeders be used on private property if pulled down prior to hunting or the beginning of hunting season? (D. Corvello)

Answer: No. Feeding wildlife with a game feeder in California is illegal for several reasons.  First, game feeders usually broadcast grain on a timer system and are primarily designed for big game. The feeding of big game is specifically prohibited by regulation (CCR Title 14, section 251.3). Second, feeding wild animals in a manner that changes their behavior is considered harassment (CCR Title 14, section 251.1). Finally, there are strict rules regarding bait, the definition of a baited area and the restrictions that apply to the take of wildlife related to a feeder (CCR Title 14, section 257.5).


Shotgun plugs for target and skeet shooting?
Question: I have a question concerning target and skeet shooting. If I am out shooting on private property (not hunting), am I required to leave the plug in my shotgun? I bought a Mossberg 12-gauge eight-shot shotgun and it was not plugged. (Louie G.)

Answer: California Fish and Game laws restrict the capacity of shotguns when used to take birds and mammals. Fish and Game laws do not restrict the possession and use of firearms for any other purpose.

If the firearm you purchased is otherwise legal under California and U.S. law, then you may use it for target shooting.

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Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.