Tag Archives: Duck Hunting

Transporting Multiple Waterfowl Limits Legally

Snow geese (USFWS photo)

Question: I had a good waterfowl season and gave many ducks to friends who wanted to try duck. I also shared some duck jerky with them and they loved it!  Now they all want some jerky or sausage, too! I called the butcher and found out they require 25 lbs of meat to make a batch of sausage. I weighed my possession limit and it doesn’t come close enough to make the weight. How do I legally bring enough ducks to the processor without putting myself into an overlimit in possession situation? (Gino B.)

Answer: Most hunters are aware they cannot take or possess more than a daily bag of ducks in one calendar day, and they know they cannot possess more than a legal possession limit (double the daily bag limit) of ducks at any time… unless the birds are tagged.

In addition, all waterfowl must retain the head or one attached fully feathered wing between the place where taken and the hunter’s personal abode (where he/she lives when not hunting) or the personal abode of a person receiving the birds as a gift, or a Migratory Bird Preservation Facility.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Northern Enforcement District Chief Mike Carion, any person is allowed to have a possession limit of birds as long as they were taken legally by a licensed hunter. In addition, if you live at home with a significant other and three children (for example), you can possess five possession limits of waterfowl in that home.

When the possession is freshly killed birds in the field, the birds must be tagged. If the possession is at home, the birds do not need to be tagged.

Tags must contain the following information:

  • Name of hunter
  • Address of hunter
  • Date of take
  • Number and species of birds
  • Hunting license number
  • Signature of the hunter who took the birds

Now it gets tricky!

Once you take the birds to your personal abode (home), you no longer have to tag them, and you may remove the head and wings. However, you are still required to stay within possession limits.

So, now your question is what happens once you are home (or after you’ve delivered your birds to someone as a gift) and you decide to have the ducks made into sausage? How can you provide the processor the 25 pounds of meat required to make the sausage?

Remember, once you are no longer home and are now transporting the birds of someone else (gifted above), the birds must be tagged!

Therefore, the legal way for you to transport the required 25 pounds of duck meat (by combining your birds with the birds belonging to other people) to the local meat processor is to make sure all birds are tagged as mentioned above. When turning the tagged birds over to the meat processor, you must also provide him a list of names of the people each possession limit belongs to.


How many hooks for sand dabs and how many for halibut?
Question: How many hooks can be used when fishing for sand dabs? I was planning on using a Sabiki rig. How many hooks can I have on such a rig? Also, how many hooks can I have on my line while fishing for halibut? Is there a limit to the number in either of these situations? (Chris Jones)

Answer:  There are no hook restrictions unless rockfish or salmon are onboard. If either species is onboard, then only two hooks may be used.


Hunting with an electronic distress caller?
Question: Is it legal to use an electronic distress caller to hunt deer? I can’t seem to find it in the regulations. (Louie L.)

Answer: It is not legal to use 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 any animal except coyotes, bobcats, American crows and starlings (Fish and Game Code, section 3012 and CCR Title 14, section 475(b), or the California Mammal Hunting Regulations at http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/).

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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.

Why Are Refuge Reservations So Hard to Draw?

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (Photo by Carrie Wilson)

Question: How are waterfowl reservations picked and how are they kept random? There seems to be something wrong with the system because it doesn’t seem to be randomly selecting people. Several of my neighbors and I have put in for the season draw for multiple refuges for the last few years without much success. One person has not been drawn in the past two years. Some people may get drawn only once while other people are getting drawn quite a bit. Can you please shed some light on this for us? (Rod H., Norco)

Answer: Unfortunately, the competition for waterfowl reservations is enormous! More than 750,000 hunt choices have been submitted for the 2011/2012 season so far. Some areas are extremely difficult to draw.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) License Program Analyst Glenn Underwood, reservations are issued by random drawings. Each drawing is independent and does not affect the outcome of any other drawing. The likelihood of being drawn does not increase when you were not drawn for a previous hunt. Odds are determined solely by the number of applicants who apply for an area on that date.

In a series of random drawings, some people are likely to be drawn more than once, and some may not be drawn at all. The results should look somewhat like half of a bell curve.

Here’s an example: For a drawing for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Jan. 18 hunt, we received 27,310 submitted hunt choices for 1,300 reservations issued. Of these:

  • 2,827 hunters received no reservations
  • 746 hunters received one reservation
  • 206 hunters received two reservations
  • 42 hunters received three reservations
  • 4 hunters received four reservations

Keep in mind that some hunters may apply for only one hunt day and others have applied for every hunt day.

We realize how important receiving a reservation is to each hunter and want hunters to know how difficult it is to draw a reservation. For this reason, Underwood publishes the drawing statistics online and mails them to hunters each year with the Waterfowl Season Update. He also posts the drawing results online for the convenience of hunters. While posting the results online occasionally inspires a phone call to Underwood from a frustrated hunter who sees another who has been drawn more frequently, Underwood is happy to provide this service and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the results with hunters.

Beginning with the 2011 season, reservation drawings are performed through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) and drawing results are still posted online, though are only viewable by the individual after logging in to ALDS.  However, Underwood says he is still happy to provide statistics to those who are interested.

The computerized drawing systems used for big game tags and waterfowl reservations have pre-draw and post-draw audit logs that record all the steps in the drawing and awarding of tags and reservations. We could not influence the drawing if we wanted to. If you would like to see how a reservation drawing is performed, please contact Glenn Underwood at GUnderwood@dfg.ca.gov and he will be happy to give you a quick demonstration using an actual drawing. Fair warning: the computerized drawing process is quite boring.

Hopefully, your luck will turn around soon, but if it doesn’t, don’t let that stop you.  You can still hunt using the local lottery or first-come, first-served line.


Trading fish parts
Question: I want the spinal cord from a legally caught white sturgeon that was taken from a pier by a sport fisherman. I also want to smoke a good portion of the meat in exchange for some of the smoked fish. Is it legal for my friend to give me the spinal cord? Is it legal to smoke the fish in exchange for a portion of the fish? (Catharine S., Oakland)

Answer: There is no law prohibiting your friend from giving you the spinal cord or any other part of a legally possessed fish, so long as all other laws are followed.  However, fish caught under the authority of a sport fishing license cannot be bought, sold, traded or bartered in any manner (Fish and Game Code, sections 7121 and 75). This includes any type of trade or barter of even parts with the expectation of receiving something in return.


Javelin hunting
Question: I just tried javelin throwing for the first time and it sparked an idea that I could hunt with this for big game mammals. But I can’t find it specified anywhere in the mammal hunting regulations booklet. Does this mean that since it isn’t mentioned it’s illegal to use to take down an animal? (Brent L.)

Answer: You are correct. Hunting by spear or javelin is not a legal method of take.

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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.

 

Why Shot Shell Limits in Refuges and Wildlife Areas?

Northern California Patrol Chief Mike Carion enjoying a beautiful day of hunting on a Sacramento Valley refuge (DFG photo)

Question: During the four duck limit era, the 25 shot shell limit in refuges and wildlife areas made sense. However, now that the limit is seven ducks, and in some cases the goose count can be six, why aren’t we allowed to carry more shells into the field? Inevitably, that limitation leads to one of us doing the “walk of shame” back to the truck to retrieve another 25 shells for a full day of hunting in a blind. That is not the most fun task given some of the walks at refuges like Little Dry Creek can be more than a mile in one direction. (Russ L.)

Answer: This is a rule that applies to many National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and Wildlife Areas (WA) in the state. It was put into place to increase effective shooting by waterfowl hunters on public hunting areas, thus ensuring a more enjoyable hunting experience for all hunters on the area. By limiting the amount of ammo a hunter can carry into the field, the goal is to reduce possible unsportsmanlike behavior (e.g. excessive and/or less discriminating shooting) which will improve the hunting experience.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Waterfowl Biologist Shaun Oldenburger, Los Banos WA established the first shotgun waterfowl shell restrictions in 1977 with a limit of 50 shells per day. In 1978, this regulation was expanded to Kern NWR (25 shells) and in 1979 expanded to nearly all San Joaquin Valley NWRs and WAs (25 shells). Grizzly Island was included in 1980. By 1985, shell restrictions expanded to all Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley NWRs and WAs, and in 1986 San Jacinto was included.

In 1979, when the 25 shotgun shell restrictions were first established in the San Joaquin Valley, the waterfowl season length was 93 days with a seven bird bag. By 1988, waterfowl populations had declined and so the season was reduced to 59 days and four duck bag limits. Still, the primary purpose of the 25 shotgun shell restrictions is to increase both the hunting experience and improve overall shot selection by waterfowl hunters. Daily bag limits will not dictate these restrictions, since removing them may increase the unsportsmanlike behaviors that caused their introduction to begin with.

Fortunately, waterfowl populations in California are currently healthy and so a more liberal bag limit is now in place. Hopefully, with this combination of healthy waterfowl populations and the 25 shotgun shell restrictions in place within the NWRs and WAs throughout the state, hunters are enjoying their hunting experiences now and will continue to do so well into the future!


Scuba to catch Dungeness crabs?
Question: Is it legal to use SCUBA equipment to catch Dungeness crabs? (David B.)

Answer: SCUBA divers may take Dungeness crab using only their hands. No hooked device may be possessed while taking Dungeness crab while diving (California Code of Regulations, section 29.80(g)).


Archery hunting within the city limits?
Question: I hunt using archery and am wondering if it is legal to hunt within city limits, with permission, on a golf course for excess turkey and deer. If so, could you please send me a permission to hunt form that I could use to ask private property owners to sign? (Rev. Mark H.)

Answer: As long as the season is open and you have permission from the property owner, Fish and Game law does not prohibit you from hunting within city limits or on golf courses. According to DFG retired captain Phil Nelms though, many local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances in the interest of public safety that may restrict your ability to hunt in these public areas. Please check with the City Police or County Sheriff to see what, if any, such ordinances may exist in your area. Keep in mind too that any type of firearm or other deadly weapon (archery) may not be discharged within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling (Fish and Game Code, section 3004).

Permission to hunt on private property must consist of a one-on-one agreement between the property owner and the hunter. A sample signatory form can be found on DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/pdffiles/FG994.pdf.


Where to find fishing regulations?
Question: I don’t live near any DFG offices and would like to know how I can obtain a copy of the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. (Rob B.)

Answer: Regulations are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2011.asp and from DFG license offices and businesses that sell fishing licenses. To find a distributor in your area, go to www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/OutletSearch/FindOutlet and enter just your city and zip code. You will then be provided with a list of locations in your area that distribute regulation booklets.

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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.


Noise Suppressors for Target Shooting or Hunting?

Whether hunting or target shooting, noise suppressors are not legal to use or even possess (Photo: National Shooting Sports Foundation)

Question:Is it legal to use noise suppressors (mistakenly called silencers) on rifles and handguns? I know that porting, venting, flash collars and muzzle brakes are OK to use at target ranges and while legally hunting in California. Can a noise suppressor that is attached to the front end of the barrel, or that slides over the front end of the barrel, be lawfully used at a target range or while legally hunting anywhere in California? (Tony N., Sr.)

Answer: No, stay completely away from silencers. It is a felony for any person, firm or corporation within the state to possess a silencer (California Penal Code, section 12520). Upon conviction, punishment includes imprisonment in the state prison or a fine not to exceed $10,000, or both. A silencer is defined as “… any device or attachment of any kind designed, used or intended for use in silencing, diminishing or muffling the report of a firearm.” This definition and law also applies to any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a silencer (California Penal Code, section 12500).


Beer on a boat?
Question: Why do most, if not all, boats for hire ban taking beer or liquor aboard? I have worked as a deckhand and fully understand the safety concerns, as well as what large amounts of space coolers full of beer for up to 70 people on a half-day trip might take up. What I am wondering though is whether there are any U.S. Coast Guard or Department of Fish and Game (DFG) laws against it that I can quote for people who ask. Many of the anglers I’ve spoken with over the years get angry because they think the boat is just trying to make a buck. (Rob M.)

Answer: There is no Fish and Game law prohibiting alcohol aboard a boat. However, there is a Harbors and Navigation Code law (section 655) that prohibits a person from operating a vessel while intoxicated, similar to the prohibitions for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.


Lead in possession on a duck hunting refuge?
Question: Some say if you are duck hunting on a refuge and you have some lead quail loads in the truck (because you’re going quail hunting on the way home in the afternoon), a game warden could ticket you for having lead shot in possession. Other friends say that as long as the lead shot is secured in the truck and not in your actual possession while hunting, then you’re not in violation. It seems to me this situation would be like the 25 shell limit in the field. As far as I know you can have additional shells in your truck as long as you only have 25 or less in your possession while hunting. If you run out then you can return to the truck for more. Who’s right? (Eric M.)

Answer: You are. As long as the lead stays in your truck, you should have no problem.


What to do when an abalone’s shell breaks?
Question: Earlier this season I was diving a low tide looking for big abs. I happened to find a nine-incher. He was really clamped down and a lot stronger than the clickers I’m used to. In the process of popping him off, the shell broke into pieces. Since I did not know the legality of keeping an ab with a broken shell, I had to leave it there. It haunts me every day. Did I do the right thing? (Jesse L.)

Answer: First of all (as you probably now know), before trying to pop any abalone off their substrate, be sure to first insert the abalone iron correctly under the animal to be sure you have the appropriate leverage to pop the animal off without injuring it. If the animal is clamped down too tightly to where you can’t get the ab iron under the animal correctly without harming the animal, then you should leave it alone and come back later once the animal has relaxed and you can remove it properly. A better idea would be to pursue another abalone that is not locked down to the rocks.

Regarding your situation, you did the right thing as the law requires that abalone are in a whole condition and attached to the shell.  It is impossible to measure an abalone with a fractured shell and often the abalone is no longer attached to the shell once you fracture it.  Next time try to leave a clamped down abalone alone and choose another that may be more easily harvested.

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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.

Turning in Wasted Waterfowl

Mallard drake (USFWS photo)

Question: Last year during waterfowl season my son and I were hunting in a state wildlife area on a pond. As we were wading across the pond on our way out we found a dead duck on the edge of the pond. The bird had clearly been shot and in the water for perhaps a day or two. We picked up the bird and gave it to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) folks at the check-out station when we turned in our shoot cards for the day and showed our harvested birds. We were told that since the bird was “in our possession” it counted toward our daily bag total. And since we had limited out, we were now over limit for the day. The folks acknowledged that the bird had probably been dead for a couple of days, but chided us that in the future we should just “let the dead bird lay there” because some animal will eat it eventually. We were not cited but we’re wondering if our behavior was illegal.

Answer: According to DFG Assistant Chief Mike Carion, picking up the duck does add it to the possession of the person. If you find a dead duck and already have a limit, it is best to leave it. Predators and scavengers will quickly put it to use.


Can lobsters be taken from inside San Diego Bay?
Question: Do you know if divers can take lobster within San Diego Bay? (Bob S.)

Answer: Fish and Game regulations do not specifically prohibit diving for lobster in San Diego Bay. However, much of the bay is closed to all public use (including diving) by local ordinances and federal regulations. Diving in these closed areas by the public for any purpose is prohibited. Please contact the San Diego Police Department or San Diego Harbor Patrol for specific information about these closures.


Purchasing a bow-mounted laser range finder
Question: I am an archery hunter and am interested in purchasing a bow-mounted laser range finder. However, the manufacturer’s website does
not list California as a state where this device can be legally used to hunt. The device I’m considering doesn’t emit a visible light so I am wondering what the DFG’s stance is on this before I make the investment into the product for hunting purposes. (L.C.)

Answer: Simple laser rangefinders are not prohibited. Just be sure the device does not project any visible light or electronically intensify light for the purpose of either visibly enhancing an animal or providing a visible point of aim on an animal. (See California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 353(i).)


Lead ammo for pistol in condor country?
Question: In the lead-free condor zone, can I carry a pistol that is loaded with lead ammo for self defense, with the intention of NEVER using it for hunting purposes? The purpose of carrying it is for self defense only. Of course I’ll be carrying lead-free ammo for my rifles, but I want to know about the side arm. Personally, I carry either a Glock 20 in 10mm or a Ruger 44mag. (Brandon C.)

Answer: You may not use or possess lead ammunition in the condor zone while hunting, even if you have no intention of using the lead ammunition to shoot wildlife. For more information on the non-lead requirements in condor country, please go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/condor/.


Is it legal to spearfish a marlin while diving?
Question: I had an argument with my friend over whether or not we could spear a marlin while diving. I know that you can’t spear broadbill, but I looked up the allowed fish that spearfishermen can take and the regulations don’t say anything about marlin (see Title 14 section 28.90). But my friend read that section and he said a broadbill is a marlin, so that means I can’t spear those fish. Is he right? (Anonymous)

Answer: It is legal to spearfish for marlin but not for broadbill swordfish – they are different species!

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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.

Why Spiny Lobster Report Cards?

California Spiny Lobsters (DFG photo by Derek Stein)

Question: A friend of ours received a $290 fine for not filling in his lobster report card correctly last year. What is the purpose of the report cards? If the fine print is so important, why isn’t it listed first? (Joe B., Thousand Oaks)

Answer: While the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has records of commercial lobster harvest dating back to 1916, it wasn’t until 2008 and the introduction of the lobster report card that any kind of gauge on the size or scope of the recreational lobster fishery existed. According to DFG Marine Biologist Travis Buck, close to 30,000 lobster report cards have been sold to sport fisherman for each of the past three years. This in contrast to the landing receipts from only about 150 licensed, active commercial lobster fishermen. DFG biologists have estimated that the recreational catch equals close to half of the commercial catch, which is a significant amount of lobsters.

DFG is mandated by state law to manage the lobster resource, as well as other fish and game, and so biologists must gather as much information as possible from both the commercial and recreational lobster fisheries. When looking at a time series of catch data, Buck says it’s possible to see downward trends, which could signify if the sustainability of the resource is in jeopardy. If catch numbers remain stable year after year, the resource is considered sustainable and no further regulation is deemed necessary.

To learn more about the DFG Marine Region and the lobster report card program, please check out DFG’s website for California spiny lobster-related information, http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/research.asp.


Beagling for bunnies
Question: I am new to the sport of beagling and I was thinking about taking my dogs out rabbit hunting. I don’t carry a gun yet because I haven’t had the chance to practice shooting at low, moving targets. Therefore, I was wondering whether I really need a hunting license if I don’t actually shoot a rabbit? One of the legal methods listed in the regulations for the take of rabbits is with dogs, so are they the same as having a gun? (Anonymous, Greenville)

Answer: Dogs are a legal method of take and are considered an extension of the hunter. Since “take” is defined as “hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill” you would be required to have a hunting license to use your dogs to pursue game.


Fishing a public waterway when posted “No Trespassing”
Question: While fishing on Hot Creek (Mono County), I came to a fenced-off section of the creek, posted with no trespassing signs. I have always been under the impression that once you legally access (don’t cross private property) a river, you may continue fishing the length of it. Am I wrong? (John K.)

Answer: According to California law, most water in above-ground, free-flowing waterways is state water and not considered private property. The land underneath the water, however, may or may not be held by the state. On small or ephemeral streams, for example, the land in the bed of the stream could be privately owned.

If you have legally gained access to the state’s water, such as at a boat ramp or on your own property, or another person who has granted you permission, you can most likely continue up or down the waterway in a boat without trespassing. But anytime you “touch” the bed or bank of the stream that is not owned by you, you may be trespassing.

If there is a fence across the stream, which is common on smaller streams in areas where livestock are common, you can not assume that it is legal to cross over it even if you can do so without touching the bank or bed of the stream. You should not attempt to do so until you have either gained the permission of the person who owns the property or received a determination that the land underneath the stream is owned by the state.


Muzzleloader unloaded
Question: I plan on hunting a lot this year with a recently acquired muzzleloader and need to know the official regs for a “loaded and unloaded” gun. I’ve been told that as long as no cap is in place, the gun is considered unloaded since the cap is needed to charge/fire the gun. (Wendell W., San Jose)

Answer: You are correct. As long as the cap is removed so the gun will not fire, it is considered unloaded.

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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.

Must Abalone Divers Carry Measuring Gauge and Fishing License Underwater?

Diver measures abalone with fixed-caliper measuring gauge (Photo by Ken Bailey)

Question: I believe the regulations say you must carry an abalone gauge and a fishing license when diving for abalone. Does that mean both need to be on my person when diving or is having those items in my float tube sufficient? (Mr. Chee)

Answer: It depends on the circumstances. The short answer is that they may be left in the dive tube only if the dive tube remains in your immediate possession.   The long explanation follows:

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Lt. Dennis McKiver, all individuals including divers must have an Abalone Report Card in their immediate possession while fishing for or taking red abalone (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 29.16(a)). In addition, every person while taking abalone shall carry a fixed-caliper measuring gauge (CCR Title 14, section 29.15(f)). As long as the dive tube is in the immediate possession of diver, then the diver may leave their Abalone Report Card and abalone gauge in their dive tube. It is required that “undersize abalone must be replaced immediately to the same surface of the rock from which detached,” therefore it is always best if you carry your measuring gauge with you.

Let’s say you surface with an abalone and then have to swim a distance to retrieve your dive tube and abalone gauge, only to measure and discover the abalone is undersize. Now that you have had to swim away from the location where the abalone was taken, you may not be inclined or able to return and find “the same surface of the rock from which detached.” If you are being watched by the warden and fail to replace the abalone “immediately to the same surface of the rock from which detached,” then you might be cited for violating CCR Title 14, section 29.15(d), failure to immediately reattach abalone to the same surface of the rock from which detached, and also section 29.15(f), failure to carry a measuring device while taking abalone as required. The measuring device should remain in your immediate possession, so your best bet is to anchor your float tube close by so it doesn’t drift away while you are diving and your gauge and license are always close at hand.


Carrying more than one firearm while hunting?
Question: While hunting, is it legal to carry more than one firearm, not including handguns? I cannot locate any regulations that prohibit carrying a rifle and a shotgun together. (Jason H.)

Answer: Generally, carrying multiple firearms while hunting is not prohibited by Fish and Game laws. However, there may be restrictions if you are hunting in a specific wildlife area or refuge or during a restricted season, such as an archery-only season.

According to retired DFG Capt. Phil Nelms, exceptions to this general rule occur in certain areas and during seasons when all firearms are prohibited. Such exceptions include certain wildlife areas, refuges, areas with county firearms closures and archery only seasons/zones.

For the authorized methods of take for various categories of game and nongame birds/mammals, please check the hunting regulations (sections 311, 353, 465, 475 and 507 (for waterfowl)). The regulations are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/.


Selling vintage Native American jewelry containing bear claws?
Question: I realize buying and selling bear claws is prohibited in California, but is there an exception in the law for vintage Native American jewelry? These pieces often include bear claws in their designs, which are an important part of their culture. They also, of course, in no way cause any damage to the current bear population. (Neil Z., Burbank)

Answer: Unfortunately, the purchase or sale of the pieces or parts of any bear is prohibited and the law does not provide any exception for Native American art pieces (Fish and Game Code, section 4758).


Disabled American Veteran Reduced Fee Licenses
Question: I am a disabled American veteran. Can I purchase the reduced fee fishing license online? How about the reduced fee hunting license online? (Randolph Toy)

Answer: No, you will need to purchase these licenses initially from a DFG office because you will need to fill out the reduced fee forms. Once you are in the system, you will be able to purchase these licenses online in the future.

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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.