Tag Archives: junior hunts

What to Do For a Lonely Osprey?

Osprey (Photo courtesy of the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

Question: We keep our sailboat in the Alamitos Bay Marina and recently have been seeing an osprey perching on another sailboat mast across from ours. This same bird was there last year and there was another osprey flying around with him. This year he is the only one there and he just cries and cries and gets no answer. My husband is very worried about him. Is there anyone we can talk to about this? (Lois and Chuck M.)

Answer: You can assure your husband that there’s no reason to worry about this lone osprey you’re seeing. According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Seabird Biologist Laird Henkel, although osprey are typically monogamous, after their breeding season (probably in the Pacific Northwest for these birds) concludes each year, the two members of a pair will separate and migrate to different wintering sites. Since only limited nesting is known to occur in southern California, any osprey you may see during the winter in your region are likely migrating or just wintering there locally. Because of this, the two birds you saw last year were almost certainly not a mated pair. It’s also unlikely they were a parent / juvenile pair as juveniles also migrate separately from their parents.

The second bird you saw last year may be around again this winter but just in a different part of the bay, or it may have been a bird that has died since last year.

Osprey can live for more than 20 years and will typically return to the same wintering site year after year, so you may end up seeing this same individual on your neighbor’s mast for years to come. Osprey will call for a variety of reasons, but most typically if they are annoyed or they are announcing their territory (including a winter feeding territory) to other birds. It’s hard to say what the “crying” you hear might mean, but I’ll bet the bird is not calling for its missing “friend.”

Pier fishing baits
Question: What baits that I catch myself can I then use when fishing and crabbing off of a public pier? (Dan T.)

Answer: Any finfish or invertebrate that is legal to take or possess in California may be used as bait while crabbing or fishing. They must be caught in a legal manner — for example, you may not use a rockfish caught accidentally in your crab trap as bait, because rockfish may only be caught using hook-and-line fishing gear. And if you decide to use something with a size limit, it must meet the legal size limit and that finfish or invertebrate must be added to your bag for the day.

Can a junior hunter legally hold two licenses?
Question:My grandson is 13 years old and interested in hunting. His dad is cool to the idea but doesn’t oppose it. The weekend of Oct. 2-3, I got him his hunter’s training certificate through the California Waterfowl Association (who by the way are really doing a lot to get kids interested in hunting and shooting). I wanted to get him his license right away so that I could enter him in a youth drawing to hunt the Tejon Ranch. The deadline was near and so I had a mental lapse and got him a regular adult license instead of a junior license. Afterwards I realized I had made a mistake and so had my son go get him a junior license. Yes, now he has two hunting licenses, a junior license and an adult license, and that’s the problem.

My son is concerned that there is some illegality in having two hunting licenses. I don’t think there would be a problem unless my grandson attempted to use the two licenses in some way. If it is illegal for him to have both a junior hunting license and an adult hunting license, can I just cure the problem by running the adult license through the paper shredder? I don’t care about reimbursement and will just consider it a donation. Thanks for your assistance. (Charles V., Ventura)

Answer: Hunters may only possess one license, and hunters 15 years and younger may only possess a junior hunting license. It is illegal for your grandson to possess an adult license until he turns 16 years old. The best solution for this situation is for you to return the adult hunting license, along with a copy of the junior license and a note explaining what happened, to the DFG License and Revenue Branch, 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834. This will allow for the adult license issued under his name to be removed from the database and you will be reimbursed for the cost of the adult license purchased in error. Happy hunting with your grandson!

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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.

Pig hunting and GPS-collared dogs?

(DFG file photo)

Question: I have some questions about pig hunting and I want to make sure I’m on the right track here. First of all, can I use Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking collars on my dogs? And what is the law regarding owning a wild boar? Can you buy them when sold as livestock from somebody who is breeding Russian or European pigs? If you have a hog for more than six days, is it considered domestic? If you buy a hog that was bred (not wild), what paperwork are you supposed to have? (Vince S.)

Answer: To answer your first question, when taking mammals, the use of GPS on dog-collars is prohibited (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 265(d)).

As far as owning wild boars, the law allows only for domestic swine, Sus scrofa domestica, to be possessed alive, but they are not regulated by California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) laws. All other species of swine are restricted and may not be possessed alive without a permit. According to DFG retired Capt. Phil Nelms, permits are only available for public display such as by zoos or in movie and television production, and for scientific research by colleges and universities. Swine held under these permits may not be killed for gain, amusement or sport.

Is a fishing license required?
Question: I have been told several times by the same person that no fishing license is required if you are fishing and have the means to cook your catch within your reach. Is this true? (Forrest H.)

Answer: No. Everyone who fishes or attempts to take fish must have a valid sport fishing license. The only exceptions are when fishing on one of the two designated free fishing days each year, fishing in the ocean from a public pier, fishing in a pond or reservoir wholly enclosed on private property that is not hydrologically connected to any other watershed, or fishing in waters covered under an aquaculturalist permit.

What’s a legal either sex deer?
I have an either sex deer tag for this year. If a deer is not a fawn with spots and clearly not a baby buck, is it fair game? (John P.)

Answer: An either sex tag can be used for a legal buck deer or a legal antlerless deer. Antlerless deer are defined as female deer, fawns of either sex other than spotted fawns, and male deer with an unbranched antler on one or both sides that is not more than three inches in length (CCR Title 14, section 351). Spike bucks with spikes three inches or longer and spotted fawns are the only deer prohibited under an either sex tag.

Hunting license for a 15-year-old?
Question: I have a question about my oldest boy who is now 15 and has a junior license (lifetime) again this year due to the fact that he was 15 when the license was issued. He will turn 16 in September. Will he be able to apply for the junior bird hunts in November and December? Based on my interpretation of the regulations it appears that the answer is yes, but I want to be 100 percent sure before he applies. (Jack S.)

Answer: Junior hunting licenses are issued to children who are under 16 years old as of the first day of the license year (July 1).  Everyone 16 years and older on July 1 of the license year must buy an adult license. So, as long as your son was still younger than 16 years old on July 1, he can purchase a junior license at any time during the license year.

All hunters who qualify for a junior hunting license are eligible for most Apprentice hunts. There are currently a couple of exceptions to this rule: Pre-Season and Post-Season Youth Waterfowl Hunts sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  These hunts are regulated by federal guidelines that require hunters to be 15 or under on the day of the hunt.

Keep in mind that once he turns 16, he will need to purchase a federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl) but will not need to a buy state duck stamp until the following year. For a list of stamps and definitions of the various licenses, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/hunting/huntdescrip.html.

Hooks for sanddabs?
Question: How many fishing hooks can I use when fishing for sanddabs? (Michael A.)

Answer: You may fish with as many as you like but keep in mind when you have rockfish or lingcod aboard or in possession, you may only fish with one line and with not more than two hooks (CCR Title 14 section 28.65 (c)). Also, while fishing in San Francisco and San Pablo bays from a boat or from shore, you can only use one fishing line with no more than three separate hooks or lures.

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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.