Category Archives: Hunting

CDFW Investigating Die-Off of Desert Bighorn Sheep

Wildlife biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are investigating what appears to be a significant mortality event associated with respiratory disease among the San Gorgonio desert bighorn sheep population in Riverside County. CDFW has confirmed that at least 20 animals have died but suspects that total mortality may be greater.

“The significance of this outbreak to the San Gorgonio desert bighorn sheep population is being investigated,” explained Heidi Calvert, an environmental program manager with CDFW’s Inland Deserts Region. “Our top priority right now is to determine the source and nature of the disease so that we can identify the right management actions to mitigate future risk.”

CDFW staff began receiving reports of sick desert bighorn sheep in December 2018 and immediately began collecting samples for lab analysis. CDFW is continuing to survey and monitor the population to gather more information on the extent and magnitude of this loss to the population. Private landowners and partner agencies are assisting with this effort.

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Wild Sheep Working Group considers respiratory disease to be “the biggest impediment to restoring and sustaining bighorn sheep populations.” Respiratory disease in bighorn sheep is most commonly attributed to contact and/or proximity with domestic sheep and, to a lesser extent, domestic goats. Diseases that originate with domestic animals can pose a significant risk to bighorn sheep populations.

The affected desert bighorn population is located within Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunt Zone 5. The recent die-off will likely result in reducing the two hunting tags to zero in this zone for 2019.

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Media Contacts:
Heidi Calvert, CDFW Inland Deserts Region, (760) 872-0751 

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

CDFW Seeks Public Help for Humboldt County Elk Poaching Investigation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking information about an elk poaching case currently under investigation in Humboldt County.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, CDFW wildlife officers responded to a poaching report in the Maple Creek area, southeast of Blue Lake. During the investigation, officers discovered four dead Roosevelt cow (female) elk. An examination showed the animals were recently killed with a firearm, and one of the elk was pregnant.

CDFW closely manages the state’s Roosevelt elk herds. A limited number of hunting permits are available for this species in Humboldt County, and some hunters wait more than a decade to be successful in the drawing. Elk hunting season was not open at the time these animals were shot.

Officers are continuing their investigation, including processing evidence left at the crime scene. CDFW asks that anyone who has any information regarding this poaching crime to contact the statewide tip hotline, CalTIP, at 1 (888) 334-2258. Tips can also be sent via text to CALTIP, followed by a space and the message to tip411 (847411). CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters) is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide CDFW with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters.

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Media Contacts:
Warden John Fraley, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (707) 445-6493

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

SHARE Program to Offer Wild Pig, Waterfowl, Turkey and Quail Hunts on Three New Properties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program will provide public access for hunting on three new properties in Plumas, Tehama and Tulare counties this winter.

For the first time, SHARE will offer waterfowl hunts in Sierra Valley, Plumas County. The Feather River Land Trust is opening 500 acres of the Sierra Valley Preserve to 10 SHARE hunters during five hunts from November through January. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

SHARE is also offering four turkey and six quail hunts at River Ridge Ranch in Tulare County. The 722-acre ranch is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills and includes oak woodland and the Tule River. Camping and cabins are available on the property through Hipcamp. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

Lastly SHARE will offer two fully guided wild pig hunts at Dye Creek Preserve in February and March 2019. Dye Creek Preserve is 37,540 acres of blue oak woodland, volcanic buttes and rolling fields located in Tehama County. Western Wildlife Adventures will provide guide services, two nights of lodging, food and transportation for each hunt. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply for these hunts through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). An $11.62 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. Application deadlines are 17 days before each hunt.

To apply for these hunts, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales, log in to your account and select Purchase Licenses. Then select 2018 – Hunting, 2018 – SHARE Hunts Multi Choice Application, then choose specific hunt periods.

These opportunities are made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers private landowners liability protection and 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 recreational access on private lands in California. For more information about SHARE opportunities, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

 

CDFW to Hold Public Meetings on Elk and Bighorn Sheep Environmental Documents

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), on behalf of the California Fish and Game Commission as Lead Agency pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, is preparing draft environmental documents that address potential impacts resulting from the implementation of elk hunting regulations and bighorn sheep hunting regulations. Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines, section 15082(c), public scoping sessions will be held to identify potentially significant effects on the environment that may result from the proposed regulations, as well as any feasible mitigation measures that should be addressed in the draft environmental document.

Both meetings will be held Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 at the CDFW Wildlife Branch, 1812 Ninth St. in Sacramento (95811). The scoping meeting for elk will be held from noon to 1 p.m., and the scoping meeting for bighorn sheep will be held from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Existing law (Fish and Game Code, section 3950) designates elk (genus Cervus) and bighorn sheep (subspecies Ovis canadensis nelsoni) as game mammals in California. Fish and Game Code, section 332 provides that the Fish and Game Commission may fix the area or areas, seasons and hours, bag and possession limit, sex and total number of elk that may be taken pursuant to its regulations. Fish and Game Code, section 4902 provides that the Commission may authorize sport hunting of mature Nelson bighorn rams.

State law (Fish and Game Code, section 207) requires the Commission to review mammal hunting regulations and CDFW to present recommendations for changes to the mammal hunting regulations to the Commission at a public meeting. Mammal hunting regulations adopted by the Commission provide for hunting elk and bighorn sheep in specific areas (hunt zones) of the state (California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 362, 364 and 364.1). 

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Regina Vu, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3728
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW and the Hunting and Fishing Community Salute California’s Veterans

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) thanks California’s veterans for their service to and sacrifice for our country. Throughout the state, many nonprofit organizations and other groups are offering special hunting and fishing opportunities for veterans this fall. Please visit the following links to view some of these specific opportunities for veterans:

(Please note, this is not a complete list, and these specific opportunities are not endorsed by CDFW.)

CDFW also offers reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses to both resident and nonresident disabled veterans, as per Fish and Game Code, section 7150. Any honorably discharged, disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability who wants to hunt birds or mammals or go fishing in California is eligible. The 2018 Disabled Veteran or Recovering Service Member Sport Fishing License or Disabled Veteran or Recovering Service Member Hunting License cost only $7.21 when purchased at CDFW license counters. To prequalify for a Disabled Veterans hunting or fishing license, customers must submit a letter from the Veteran’s Administration to a CDFW license sales office. Subsequent licenses may be purchased online or from a license sales agent.

Annual California sport fishing licenses are valid Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 each year, and make excellent holiday gifts for veterans. Annual hunting licenses are valid July 1 through June 30.

Fishing and hunting regulations and more information about licenses are available on the CDFW website.

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Media Contacts:
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988