Category Archives: deer

Applications Now Available for Fall Apprentice Deer Hunt in San Luis Obispo County for Junior License Holders

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a drawing for an apprentice deer hunt for junior license holders on the Chimineas Unit of the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve.

The two-day buck hunt, which is being offered in cooperation with the Avenales Sportsmen’s Club (ASC) and the Chimineas Ranch Foundation (CRF), will be held on Sept. 15 and 16 on the 30,000-acre reserve in San Luis Obispo County. Mandatory hunter orientation will take place in the evening on Friday, Sept. 14. Overnight lodging will be available at the main ranch house on the ecological reserve on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Three apprentice junior hunters will be chosen by lottery. Selected junior license holders must possess an A zone deer tag and must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will receive classroom, range and field training in gun handling techniques and safety, deer hunting and game care. Hunts will be led by ASC volunteers. ASC and CRF will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday.

Junior hunter applicants may apply online using their GO ID number through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales. The hunt will be entitled Carrizo Plain ER – Chimineas Unit Apprentice Deer Hunt.  Please note that this hunt option can only be viewed using a junior hunter’s GO ID.

The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 20. Successful applicants will be notified by phone and will receive additional information, including maps and special regulations, prior to the hunt.

Media Contacts:
Robert Stafford, CDFW Central Region, (805) 528-8670
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

CDFW photo by Stuart Itoga.

CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Spring and early summer is the peak time for much of California’s wildlife to bear their young. With this in mind, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking well-intentioned members of the public to leave young wildlife alone.

It may be hard to resist scooping up a young wild animal that looks vulnerable and abandoned, but intervention may cause more harm than good. Young animals removed from their natural environment typically do not survive. Those that do make it may not develop the skills necessary to survive on their own in natural habitat. When this happens, the only alternative is a life of captivity in artificial conditions.

“It is a common mistake to believe a young animal, especially a fawn, has been abandoned when found alone,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator. “But even if the mother has not been observed in the area for a long period of time, chances are she is off foraging, or is nearby, waiting for you to leave.”

Such behavior is common across many species. A female mountain lion may spend as much as 50 percent of her time away from her kittens.

Fledglings, or young partially feathered birds, found alone and hopping along the ground in the spring or summer, are actually trying to learn to fly. Though it is tempting to pick them up, what they really need is space and time to master flying. The best course of action is not to draw attention to them, advises Carion. You can help by keeping pets away until the bird has left the area.

If a young animal is in distress, or you are unsure, contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility and speak to personnel for advice.

Most wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed to possess small mammals and birds. Although some wildlife rehabilitators are allowed to accept fawns, injured or sick adult deer should be reported directly to CDFW for public safety reasons. Injured, orphaned or sick bears, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, wild pigs or mountain lions should also be reported to CDFW directly.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. These animals may need specialized care and feeding that is best done by trained wildlife care specialists.

It is important to note that wild animals – even young ones – can cause serious injury with their sharp claws, hooves and teeth, especially when injured and scared. They may also carry ticks, fleas and lice, and can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia.

To learn more about how to live and recreate responsibly where wildlife is near, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/keepmewild.

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Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion
, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (530) 357-3986
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Massive Poached Sacramento County Deer Leads to Trophy Penalty Enhancement

A Sacramento County man entered a no contest plea Tuesday to charges of poaching a huge blacktail deer in Sacramento County. John Frederick Kautz, 51, of Lodi, was charged with possession of an illegally poached deer and falsification of deer tag reporting information, both misdemeanors, following a three-month investigation.

Poached deer with trophy-sized antlers. December 2017.
Poached deer with trophy-sized antlers. December 2017.

Kautz illegally killed the trophy-sized buck on private property in Wilton in December 2016, two months after the deer season closed in the area. The deer had an antler spread of 31 inches with four antler points on one side and five on the other, which is an unusually large size for this part of California.

Kautz transported the illegally killed deer across state lines to Nevada to have the deer head mounted by a taxidermist. Kautz was also working through the process of scoring the trophy class buck to have it entered into the Safari Club International hunting record book. The deer’s trophy-sized antlers would have been surely accepted if the animal had been legally taken. However, the poaching conviction for the buck makes it ineligible for that recognition.

Working on a tip provided in September 2017, Wildlife Officers Sean Pirtle and Anthony Marrone spent an exhaustive three months on the investigation, collecting evidence that would prove the year-old incident was an act of poaching. Through extensive interviews, multiple search warrants and forensic analysis of computer records, and with the help of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Computer Crimes Unit, they slowly pieced together the puzzle. Then, collaborating with Nevada game wardens who conducted multiple follow-up interviews outside of California, they worked together in an attempt to track down the actual deer that had been mounted by the Nevada taxidermist.

All California wildlife officers are federally deputized to investigate fish and wildlife crimes anywhere in the United States. The wildlife officers submitted the case to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office for prosecution.

On Dec. 19, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney David Brown announced a plea bargain resulting in a conviction of two poaching related misdemeanors. Kautz was sentenced to two days in county jail, placed on three years probation with a search and seizure clause, ordered to surrender the mounted deer head and was prohibited by the court from hunting or accompanying anyone else who is hunting during his probation. The fine was set at $5,000 pursuant to a new legislation and regulation package which took effect on July 1, 2017, increasing penalties associated with poaching “trophy class” or very large wild game animals.

The vast majority of hunters are ethical and abide by hunting laws and regulations, including the individual who provided this tip that helped lead to Kautz’s conviction.

“We would like to thank our wildlife law enforcement partners in Nevada and the CHP, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office for their assistance in this investigation and the subsequent prosecution, and the hunter who gave us the original tip,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Law Enforcement Division Chief.

“We are also pleased how the newly effective legislation and regulations package helped increase the penalties in this case to hopefully deter others from the same poaching behavior. A case like this is exactly why this package was enacted.”

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Media Contact:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692