Elk, Pronghorn Antelope Captures to Be Conducted in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is planning to capture numerous elk and pronghorn antelope in northern California over the next two weeks.

Under the direction of CDFW veterinary staff, CDFW wildlife biologists will lead the captures. Capture crews will locate elk and pronghorn via helicopter, capture them with net guns and restrain the captured animals for tagging and collaring.

From Feb. 6-8, CDFW will capture as many as 10 adult Roosevelt elk in Humboldt County in northwestern California. From Feb. 9-13, CDFW will capture up to 22 Rocky Mountain elk in Shasta, Lassen, Modoc and Siskiyou counties in northeastern California. Pronghorn captures are scheduled for Feb. 14-15, also in northeastern California.

The elk will be captured on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and National Park Service (NPS) as well as on private properties with permission from landowners. CDFW is grateful to the USFS, NPS, timberland owners and other private landowners that are providing access to their lands for the captures.

Each elk will be ear tagged and fitted with a GPS collar. The collars will provide detailed information about elk for approximately five years. The information will enhance CDFW’s knowledge of current elk distribution, abundance, survival and habitat use.

For additional information regarding captures in Shasta, Lassen, Modoc or Siskiyou counties, please contact CDFW wildlife biologist Erin Nigon at (530) 598-6011. For information regarding captures in Humboldt County, please contact CDFW wildlife biologist Carrington Hilson at (707) 502-4078. For information on pronghorn captures, please contact biologist Richard Shinn at (530) 233-3581

Nonprofit Organizations Encouraged to Apply for Fundraising Hunting Tags

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites nonprofit organizations to help wildlife by auctioning big game hunting license tags for the 2020-21 season.

For the 2020-21 season, up to eight deer tags, two elk tags, two desert bighorn sheep tags and one pronghorn antelope tag will be reserved for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to sell. Nonprofit organizations compete for the tags through an application process, and may then offer the tags up for auction to the public. Proceeds from the sale of these tags return to CDFW to fund projects that benefit bighorn sheep, deer, elk and pronghorn.

Last year’s auctions raised more than $564,000 for research and wildlife management. Past projects funded by the sale of these and other hunting tags include crucial habitat conservation, post-wildfire forest restoration, wildlife population studies and the installation of water sources to support wildlife during drought conditions.

A call for applications and the required application form are available on the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting/fundraising. Representatives of nonprofit groups may also request a printed application package by calling the CDFW Wildlife Branch at (916) 445-4034, sending a fax to (916) 445-4048 or by writing to:

Victoria Barr
CDFW Wildlife Branch
1812 Ninth St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

CDFW Expands Statewide Sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is increasing the scope of its monitoring and testing efforts for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in California’s deer and elk herds.

“While California has never had a report of CWD, increased testing is needed to establish with a high degree of certainty that there are no deer with CWD in California,” said CDFW Wildlife Veterinarian Brandon Munk. “Keeping this disease out of our state is a top priority, both for wildlife managers and for hunters.”

CWD is always fatal to deer and elk, and is an ongoing concern for hunters and managers throughout the country. Once CWD enters a herd, it is nearly impossible to eradicate. Although there are no known cases of CWD being transferred to humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not consuming meat or organs from any animal that tests positive for CWD.

CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has set an ambitious goal to test 600 deer statewide during this year’s hunting seasons and increasing that number to 2,000 statewide in the upcoming years.

Continued hunter cooperation will be key to achieving the CWD deer testing goals. CDFW will set up check stations during the various deer seasons, and hunters will be asked to bring their deer in for the quick removal of a lymph node for testing. CWD testing of hunter-taken deer is voluntary, and no meat is taken.

Information about specific locations and times of operation of CWD check stations in each of the state’s deer zones and control hunt areas will appear on CDFW’s website. Hunters can also contact regional CDFW offices to get check station schedules. Some offices may also offer onsite deer testing.

Some professional meat processors and butchers throughout the state are also partnering with CDFW to take samples from deer at the hunter’s request. Hunters who may be unable to visit a check station or CDFW regional office for sampling are encouraged to ask their butcher ahead of time if sampling is available at the time of processing.

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Media Contacts:
Brandon Munk, CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab, (916) 358-1194
Nathan Graveline, CDFW Big Game Program, (916) 445-3652
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

North Coast Roosevelt elk herd

CDFW to Host Public Meeting to Discuss North Coast Elk

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public meeting on Monday, July 15 to provide information and receive input that will help biologists refine the management plan for the North Coast Roosevelt Elk Management Unit.

The meeting will be held at Lake Earl Grange Hall, 6820 Lake Earl Drive in Fort Dick (95538), from 3:30-5 p.m. It will be a drop-in “open house” format with staff presentations, including a status update on elk populations and current elk research studies in the management unit. The public will have an opportunity to offer recommendations for consideration in the update of the management unit plan. CDFW staff will also be available to discuss hunting and landowner programs such as the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program.

As potential regulatory changes are considered, other in-person opportunities to provide comment will be available at the California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee meeting in September, and at the December Commission meeting when potential changes may be formally proposed.

For more information about the meetings, or if you cannot attend and would like to submit questions or comments, please contact CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Shawn Fresz at shawn.fresz@wildlife.ca.gov. More information about CDFW’s Elk Management Program is also available on CDFW’s website.

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Media Contacts:
Shawn Fresz, CDFW Wildlife Program, (707) 445-7850
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Smith River elk herd

SHARE Program Offers Elk Opportunities for Adult and Junior Hunters

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be offering 47 elk hunting opportunities through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program this fall. Applications for SHARE elk hunts will be available for purchase as of Sunday, June 16.

New additions to the program include 24 elk tags, 16 hunts and three properties. A total of 72 elk tags will be available during 47 hunts, with six of those tags going to junior hunters.

SHARE elk hunts will occur at various times between Aug. 15 and Dec. 24, 2019 on 31 select properties in Colusa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Shasta and Siskiyou counties. Specific details for all 47 elk hunts can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share#elk. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, July 24.

All elk tags will be distributed through a random draw process. While hunters may take only one elk per year in California, hunters may apply for more than one SHARE hunt. These hunts offer additional opportunities to apply for an elk tag if you were unsuccessful in the elk tag opportunities provided through the general Big Game Drawing. SHARE hunt applications can be purchased by anyone 12 years of age or older, with a valid 2019 California Hunting License from any CDFW license office or online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales.

An $11.88 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt application. Applicants may look up their draw results and download their hunt packets on July 29 by entering their customer information on CDFW’s website at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales.

The SHARE program was created to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California by offering incentives to private landowners. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988