CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Public Contact:
Greg Gerstenberg, CDFW Central Region,  (209) 769-1196

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Tuesday, August 12 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at the Department of General Services Building at 2550 Mariposa Mall in Fresno from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation of the ban to occur no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive to the hunting community.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. A public workshop was held in Ventura in April, Eureka in June and Redding in July. Others are planned in Sacramento on July 29 and San Diego on August 5. After Fresno, planning is underway for a workshop in Rancho Cucamonga. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

 

CDFW’s SHARE Program Offers Fall Hunting Opportunities

Contact:
Victoria Barr, SHARE Program Coordinator, (916) 445-4034
Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program will be providing public access for big game and upland game hunts this fall.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply for SHARE hunts through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). An $11.06 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. Successful applicants for each property will be allowed to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner. To apply for these hunts, please go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/.

Northern Region
The Willow Foothill property in Siskiyou County will provide opportunities for one A-1 deer and three C-1 deer hunts. The property is located 16 miles north east of Yreka and consists of 640 acres of foothill oak woodlands and vantage points for views of Mt. Shasta and the valley.

South Coast Region
Jones Ranch and Sleepy Creek Ranch in Santa Barbara County will offer hunts for deer, bear, turkey, quail and dove. These remote ranches in West Cuyama Valley encompass 1,000 acres between them and will offer separate hunting opportunities. The terrain features miles of trails through oak savannahs, riparian habitat, juniper-sage woodlands and chaparral. Both ranches back up to 250 acres of Bureau of Land Management land as well as the Los Padres National Forest, providing extra hunting access if needed.

For more information about each SHARE property and the opportunities available please go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/.

These opportunities were made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and will receive compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational access on private lands in California.

Deer Tag Quota for the D6 Zone Has Been Filled

Media Contacts:
Nathan Graveline, CDFW Central Region, (209) 588-1780

Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is notifying hunters that tags are no longer available in the D6 Zone for the 2014 deer season. The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) finalized big-game tag quotas at its April 15 meeting in Ventura. Notable changes from the 2013 hunting season included a reduction in the D6 Zone general season tag quota from 10,000 to 6,000.

Other zones are getting close to selling out. CDFW urges hunters to act early for the best possible chance to get a tag in the zone they want. For those hunters who did not apply for or receive a tag through the annual big-game drawing process, CDFW has provided a list (updated daily) of available deer tags at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/biggame/.

In the summer of 2013, the Rim Fire burned approximately 257,000 acres in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service subsequently issued Rim Fire Closure Order 2014-01, which closed the burned area through Nov. 18, 2014. This closure encompasses approximately 175,000 acres of public and private land, including popular deer hunting locations in the D6 Zone such as Cherry Lake, Kibbie Ridge and Crocker Ridge in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

CDFW usually issues 10,000 tags per season for the D6 Zone. If the deer tag quota had remained at that level this season, CDFW anticipated a significant increase in hunting pressure on the remaining open areas. Such crowded hunting conditions could have led to an overharvest of the accessible herds, dropping buck-to-doe ratios below management objectives. Due to the reduction in quality hunting opportunities and potential negative biological impacts, CDFW recommended the decrease from 10,000 to 6,000 for the 2014 hunting season, which the FGC approved as part of its changes to this year’s Mammal Hunting Regulations at its April meeting.

Hunters seeking to pursue deer in the Sierra Nevada still have several options in zones D3-5, D7 (which filled last year in early August) and D8. CDFW posts available tags by hunt zone at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/biggame/. Hunters who received a D6, A21, G37 or J15 tag can monitor forest closure information on the Stanislaus National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/stanislaus/.

 

CDFW Encourages Families to Explore Wild Places During Summer Break

Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

School is out, summer is here and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is encouraging families to spend time enjoying the outdoors. With long, hot days ahead, parents may be looking for family activities to keep school-age kids active and engaged during summer break. California is home to some of the world’s most iconic landscapes where outdoor activities and educational opportunities can be found in nearly every corner of the state.

“State wildlife areas and ecological reserves offer unique opportunities for outdoor education – whether catching a trout in a mountain stream or simply enjoying a spectacular sunset in the midst of some of the state’s most pristine and valued wild places,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “It’s important for children to know these places exist and that they share in the responsibility of the future of these lands through responsible recreation and stewardship.”

CDFW manages over 900,000 acres of land statewide specifically designated as wildlife areas and ecological reserves that host abundant opportunities to get outdoors and explore natural places. Although the primary purpose of these lands is to secure and protect wildlife habitat, the public may visit, learn about and responsibly enjoy recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, bicycling and wildlife viewing on many of these areas during the summer. There are also hunting opportunities available on many of these properties in the fall and winter months.

For those who have not spent much time in the outdoors, visiting a wildlife area and ecological reserve is an easy introduction to outdoor activities. Because of the wide distribution of these areas, they can usually be found close to home and some ecological reserves and wildlife areas have staff or volunteers available to answer questions and provide informative tours.

Visit the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov and click on the state map to find the region you are interested in visiting, and then click on Wildlife Areas/Ecological Reserves. Close attention should be paid to any special public use restrictions. Seven properties require the purchase of a day or annual pass prior to visiting the site. For more information about day and annual passes, go to www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/landpass.

Here are some suggestions to ensure an enjoyable outdoor experience:

  • Research the area before you go
  • Know the regulations before visiting
  • Let friends or other family members know where you will be and for how long
  • Dress for the weather; layering clothes may be necessary for sun protection or cool mornings
  • Bring plenty of water and carry a daypack for food and snacks
  • If planning to hike with young children – keep it short
  • Avoid strenuous activities during the heat of the day
  • Wildlife areas have bugs, so be aware of mosquitos, ticks and the possible bee sting
  • Carry a small first aid kit and use sunscreen

Some general guidelines should be followed while visiting wildlife areas:

  • Do not feed wildlife
  • Dispose of trash properly – if no trash receptacle is available, carry trash out of the area
  • Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them
  • Enjoy these areas responsibly and remember that you are visiting wildlife habitat

For more information about wildlife areas and ecological reserves, please visit the CDFW Lands Program at www.dfg.ca.gov/lands.

CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Gail Turner, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-1075

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Tuesday, July 29 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at the Rancho Cordova Library at 9845 Folsom Blvd. in Sacramento from 7-8:30 p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation of the ban to occur no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive to the hunting community.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. A public workshop was held in Ventura in April and Eureka in June. Another is planned in Redding on July 19. After Sacramento, planning is underway for workshops in August in San Diego, Fresno and Riverside/San Bernardino. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Saturday, July 19 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at the Community Room at City Hall, 777 Cypress Ave. in Redding from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation of the ban to occur no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive to the hunting community.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. A public workshop was held in Ventura in April and in Eureka in June. After Redding, planning is underway for workshops later this year in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento area), San Diego, Fresno and Riverside/San Bernardino. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Mishele Echelberger, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2313

Sacramento Man Pleads Guilty to Commercial Bobcat Poaching

A Sacramento County man recently pled guilty to multiple criminal charges and was fined for unlawfully trapping dozens of bobcat and fox for commercial purposes in northern California.

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Tracy Lee Shultz, 57, from Courtland was fined $5,000 and forfeited 60 poached bobcat and fox pelts worth almost $15,000 on the commercial market. Schultz ultimately pled guilty to several violations of the Fish and Game Code, including taking bobcat outside of the established season, unlawful capture and confinement of a live mammal, possession of unlawfully taken pelts, knowingly filing false information to obtain bobcat tags and unlawfully taking wildlife for profit or personal gain. He is also prohibited from hunting, fishing, trapping or accompanying anyone on such a trip during his one-year probation.

In November 2012, Lassen County CDFW Warden Nick Buckler received an anonymous tip from a hunter that commercial bobcat traps were being set before the season opened. Warden Buckler started his investigation, during which he spent nearly every day and night of the 70-day season living out in the sage, bitterbrush, and rim-rock of remote Lassen County observing and documenting the trapper.

“Sometimes the smallest bit of information can lead to a large scale investigation,” said Buckler. “I feel lucky to live and work in a county that cares so much about its fish, wildlife and habitats. The illegal commercialization of wildlife is second only to the illegal trade in drugs and guns for worldwide revenue. There will always be people willing to break laws and exploit wildlife to make money.”

Warden Buckler spent three months observing Schultz, documenting his movements, and locating and monitoring his traps in order to obtain sufficient evidence. At one point during the season, Schultz returned to his Sacramento County home for a week leaving a spotted skunk trapped in freezing temperatures. After Sacramento County game wardens relayed that Schultz remained at home for several days, Warden Buckler released the trapped animal unharmed.

On Jan. 31, 2013, two teams of wildlife officers served search warrants on locations in Sacramento and Modoc counties. The two teams seized a large volume of evidence from Schultz, including his ATV, trailer, trapping journal, trapping, skinning and storage equipment, nearly 50 large commercial live traps, and 60 illegally taken bobcat and gray fox pelts.

Trapping bobcat for commercial purposes is legal in California with a season that starts on Nov. 24 of each year. Trappers licensed through CDFW are required to check their traps and remove all captured animals at least once daily. Schultz had about 50 tagged live traps set throughout more than 900 square miles of remote Lassen and Modoc counties. This extensive trapping area made it impossible for Shultz to check each trap daily, and allowed him to trap more area, spend less gas and cheat other trappers who followed the law.

Pursuant to state law, all the furs were sold to a licensed fur dealer and the $14,835 check was held in an account while the case was underway. As part of the conviction, the Lassen County Superior Court judge ordered the money paid to the Lassen County Fish and Game Commission, where it will be used to promote and support lawful hunting and fishing, as well as fund wildlife habitat improvement and restoration in the county.

Many times cases such as this could not be made without the assistance of sportsmen and sportswomen who help wildlife officers by reporting poaching and pollution. It often takes the help of concerned citizens in conjunction with the county district attorney’s office to reach successful outcomes.

“Now more than ever wardens need the assistance of the public to protect our valuable natural resources,” Buckler said. “Hunters, anglers, trappers and citizens can be our eyes and ears on the ground. License plates, descriptions and accurate locations are the best information the public can provide.”

CDFW officers patrol more than 220,000 square miles of ocean and 159,000 square miles of land in California, while the number of wardens has increased in the last few years, California still has the lowest number of wildlife officers per capita in the United States.

If you witness a wildlife crime, you are encouraged to call the 24-hour toll free CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258. All calls can be kept anonymous.

Media Contact:
Nick Buckler, CDFW Law Enforcement, (530) 440-6381
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW to Offer Upland Game Hunting Clinic in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education will offer an upland game hunting clinic on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Hasting Island Hunting Preserve, near Rio Vista.

Designed for hunters of all skill levels, the clinic will be led by an experienced certified California Hunter Education instructor. Topics to be covered will include hunting regulations, where to hunt, hunting alone vs. hunting with others, hunting with or without a dog, proper types of firearms and ammunition for upland game hunting, upland game bird habitat, and hunter responsibilities and ethics. The clinic will include dog handling and game care demonstrations.

The clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45 for adults. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by an adult.

CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment. Space is limited, so participants are asked to preregister online at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Hastings Island Hunting Preserve is located approximately 8 miles north of Rio Vista.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Dan Lehman, CDFW Advanced Hunter Education Program, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW to Offer Waterfowl Hunting Clinic in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program and the California Waterfowl Association will jointly sponsor a waterfowl hunting clinic on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Grizzly Ranch, near Suisun.

Designed for hunters of all skill levels, the clinic will be led by an experienced certified California Hunter Education instructor. Topics to be covered will include decoy placement, blind design, waterfowl calling, duck identification, appropriate waterfowl hunting gear, hunter safety, game care and cooking tips. Information will also be provided on hunting state wildlife areas and federal refuges.

The clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45 for adults. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by an adult.

CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment. Space is limited, so participants are asked to preregister online at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/waterfowl_grizzly.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Grizzly Ranch is located approximately 9 miles south of Suisun City.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Dan Lehman, CDFW Advanced Hunter Education Program, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Big Game Drawing Deadline Approaches

A buck (male deer) in California foothills

A California buck

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding hunters that the deadline to apply for the 2014 Big Game Drawing is just weeks away. Sales transactions must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2014. Applications for elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, premium deer tags and fundraising drawing tags may be submitted at any CDFW license agent, CDFW license sales office, by telephone sales or online.

All hunt tags for premium deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep are awarded through CDFW’s Big Game Drawing. Successful applicants will receive a receipt to show their hunt choices have been entered in the drawing. CDFW expects the drawing results to be available online in mid-June. Hunters may also contact a CDFW license sales office to check the results.

The following resources are available to assist hunters:

  • Proposed seasons, tag drawing application instructions and drawing statistics can be found in the 2014 California Big Game Hunting Digest. The book is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.
  • To find a license agent near you or to purchase items online, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols.
  • To submit drawing applications by telephone, please contact the license sales line at (800) 565-1458.

Fund-raising Drawing Opportunities

CDFW’s random drawing fund-raising program includes tags for deer, elk and pronghorn antelope. This year the program will not include a bighorn sheep tag drawing. The drawings for deer, elk and antelope are open to any resident or nonresident 12 years of age or older as of July 1, 2014. The cost to enter the drawings is $5.97 per entry, per hunt. Applicants do not need a valid hunting license to apply, and may apply for the drawings as many times as they wish by June 2, 2014. Winners will be required to purchase an annual hunting license. However, the tag will be issued at no additional cost.

Open Zone Deer Tag

An Open Zone deer tag allows the hunter to hunt during the authorized season dates of any hunt, using the specific method and meeting any special conditions of the tag for that hunt.

Multiple Zone Elk Tag

The fund-raising random drawing elk tag allows the hunter to hunt in any of the following zones: Northwestern, Northeastern, Marble Mountains, Siskiyou and La Panza. Hunters may use any legal method of take. All three subspecies of elk may be hunted, although only one elk may be harvested. The hunt dates open one week prior to the earliest season in that zone and run through the end of the regular season.

Northeastern California Pronghorn Antelope Tag

The fund-raising random drawing antelope tag allows the hunter to hunt in any of the Northeastern antelope zones (Mount Dome, Clear Lake, Likely Tables, Lassen, Big Valley and Surprise Valley) with any legal method. The hunt dates are from Aug. 2 to Sept. 21, 2014.

Media Contacts:
Lai Saechao, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-7416
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

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