Tag Archives: deer

Knoxville Wildlife Area Reopened

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced today that Knoxville Wildlife Area will reopen for public use Sunday, Aug. 9 at 5:00 a.m. Because of successful efforts by fire personnel from multiple agencies on the Rocky Fire, CDFW considers conditions to be safe for public access. The public is reminded that campfires are not allowed on the wildlife area at any time.

Because of the Rocky Fire in neighboring Lake County, Knoxville Wildlife Area was closed to all public use on Aug. 3. The general deer season opener began today, and Knoxville is a popular hunting area.

The public can monitor the status of the Rocky Fire at www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps.php.

Media Contacts:
Conrad Jones, Knoxville Wildlife Area, (707) 944-5544
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Knoxville Wildlife Area Closed Due to Rocky Fire

Because of the Rocky Fire in neighboring Lake County, Knoxville Wildlife Area is closed to all public use until further notice to allow safe access for emergency vehicles. The closure affects Knoxville-Berryessa Road north of Pope Canyon Road.

It is unknown when the wildlife area will be safe to reopen.

“We are hopeful that the wildlife area will reopen before the Saturday deer opener, but it’s impossible to say at this time,” said Conrad Jones, a senior environmental scientist at Knoxville. “Safety is our first priority, and we are cooperating with emergency responders who are working hard to get this fire under control.”

Interested members of the public can call (707) 944-5547 for updates on the closure. The message will be revised as more information becomes available.

The public can also monitor the status of the fire at www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps.php. Please note that on the webpage, Knoxville-Berryessa Road is referred to as Morgan Valley Road in the road closure section.

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Media Contacts:
Conrad Jones, Knoxville Wildlife Area, (707) 944-5544

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

2015 Big Game Digest Now Available Online

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has posted the 2015 Big Game Digest to its website. The 64-page document can be downloaded online for free at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.

2015 California Big Game Hunting DigestThe popular guide includes season, quota and harvest information for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep, as well as tag drawing information, bear and wild pig hunting information and big game hunting regulations for the 2015-16 seasons.

Printed copies of the Big Game Digest will automatically be mailed in late April to hunters who purchased a big game tag or applied for the Big Game Drawing in California in 2014.

“As printing costs continue to rise, more funding for big game conservation will be available if the department reduces printing and mailing costs,” said Dan Yparraguirre, CDFW’s Deputy Director of Wildlife and Fisheries. “Making the Big Game Digest available online also means that hunters can access this information sooner.”

Hunting licenses, tags and drawing applications will be available on April 15. Purchases may be made through the Online License Service, at any CDFW License Sales Office or License Agent, or by telephone at (800) 565-1458. The deadline to apply for the Big Game Drawing is midnight on June 2.

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Media Contact:
Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3642
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

CDFW’s Deer Conservation and Management Plan Now Available for Public Review

doe in fieldThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its draft Deer Conservation and Management Plan, which is now available for public comment and review. The plan can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/.

CDFW is proposing to develop 10 large-scale deer conservation units, which will assess how recent landscape and environmental changes have impacted deer population and habitat.

The draft plan also covers five important areas: unit plans, population management, habitat conservation, monitoring and outreach. Each unit will prepare separate plans, which will also be available for public comment and review at a future date.

In addition, movement corridors, winter and summer ranges and holding areas will be mapped and used to develop long-term conservation objectives. Areas needing restoration or rehabilitation will also be prioritized in order of importance to conservation and management objectives.

The deadline for comments is April 30, 2015. Interested parties can submit comments via email at DeerPlan@wildlife.ca.gov, or by regular mail sent to Deer Plan, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95811.

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Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3652

CDFW to Offer Deer Hunting Clinic in San Bernardino County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program, the Hunter Education Instructor Association of Southern California and the California Deer Association will jointly sponsor a deer hunting clinic on Saturday, April 11. The clinic will be held at the Apple Valley Gun Club in Victorville in San Bernardino County.

The clinic is designed for Southern California deer hunters of all skill levels. The clinic will cover deer biology, hunting techniques and regulations, methods for locating deer, locations to hunt, field dressing and care of game.

The clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45. Youths 17 years and younger are free, but must be accompanied by adult.

Space is limited and participants must register in advance here. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring. CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

Victorville is located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Alan Gregory, CDFW Advanced Hunter Education Program, (209) 329-7426

Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodation to participate in public meetings or other CDFW activities are invited to contact the Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator Melissa Carlin at (916) 651-1214 or Melissa.Carlin@wildlife.ca.gov. Reasonable Accommodation requests for facility and/or meeting accessibility should be received at least 21 days prior to the event. Requests for American Sign Language Interpreters should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event, and requests for Real-Time Captioning at least four weeks prior to the event. These timeframes are to help ensure that the requested accommodation is met. If a request for an accommodation has been submitted but due to circumstances is no longer needed, please contact the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator immediately.

Inyo County Man Arrested, Charged with Poaching Deer

Media Contacts:
Lt. Bill Dailey, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (661) 203-6380
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095

dog
Tracking dog Sieger helped wildlife officers locate a poached trophy deer.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers arrested a poacher today in Inyo County for allegedly illegally killing a trophy 3×3 deer in the G-3 zone. Joseph Eugene Bragdon, 37, of Bishop was taken into custody without incident at his workplace after a $15,000 arrest warrant was issued by the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office.

“We are grateful to the Inyo County DA’s Office for recognizing the importance of resource protection and that wildlife poaching is a serious crime,” said Lt. Bill Dailey of CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division. “Ethical hunters prize the G-3 tag for the incredible landscape and quantity of large deer. With only 35 tags issued every year, hunters can apply for years and never draw this zone.”

CDFW wildlife officers received a tip, through the CalTIP hotline, that on Nov. 1 Bragdon took his juvenile son to Division Creek in the trophy G-3 hunting zone and killed a large mule deer buck using a D-7 deer zone tag. With the assistance of the investigating warden’s tracking dog, Sieger, they located a dead deer with only the antlers and part of the edible meat removed. Most of the animal was left to waste.

Poaching a deer, cutting the head off and wasting edible meat is illegal and an egregious violation of ethical hunting standards. Wildlife officers took DNA samples and seized ballistic evidence.

The G-3 deer season runs only from Dec. 6-21. This area is considered a trophy deer hunt when high country mule deer bucks enter the area to escape the high country winter storms.

In November 2012, Bragdon was convicted of two misdemeanor hunting violations in Nevada, including hunting big game in a closed season and hunting big game without a tag. He was fined and had demerit points added to his Nevada hunting license.

Bragdon faces possible charges for several violations of the Fish and Game Code, including taking a deer without a license, tag or permit, failure to fill out tags, waste of game, failure to have a tag in possession and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. If convicted, Bragdon could face revocation of his hunting license, fines, probation and/or jail time.

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. Ethical hunters and anglers are the most common contributors to the CalTIP hotline. The toll-free hotline number is (888) 334-2258.

Tracking dog Sieger is a candidate for the next cycle of certification training for CDFW’s exceptional team of Warden K-9s.

Caltrans, Fish and Wildlife to Drivers: Watch out for Wildlife

Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are cautioning motorists of an unusually high number of collisions between drivers and wildlife on mountain highways this autumn. The increase has been particularly notable on Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50 in Placer and El Dorado counties.

“There were an unprecedented 23 incidents involving large animals on Highway 50 and I-80 in just six days from Nov. 14-19,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Drivers need to use caution and watch out for wildlife as they travel through the Sierras and other rural areas.”

“Motorists need to be on the lookout for animals on or near roadways, particularly deer and bears,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “It’s not only dangerous for the animals, but drivers and their passengers can be injured or killed if they hit – or swerve to miss – an animal.”

Caltrans and CDFW offer a few tips for motorists:

Be particularly alert when driving in areas frequented by wildlife and give yourself more time than usual to react safely by reducing your speed.

  • “Sweep” the roadway from side to side with your eyes as you drive. This increases your chance of seeing anything that might become a hazard.
  • Pay particular attention when driving during morning and evening, as wildlife are most active during these times.
  • If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following it.
  • Don’t litter. Odors from all kinds of products may entice animals to venture near roadways.

There are probably several factors behind the animals’ increased movements near highways. One is the deer rut, or mating season, and bucks are always more active this time of year. Recent wildfires in the mountains and foothills also destroyed a considerable amount of vegetation, forcing wildlife to travel farther than usual to forage. The drought has stressed existing vegetation, likely reducing its normal nutritional value and forcing animals to eat more than usual. Bears are getting ready for hibernation and are foraging far and wide to get enough nutrition to make it through the winter.

“Wildlife corridors” constructed under some highways have helped reduce wildlife-related incidents. Caltrans recently completed construction of a wildlife crossing on State Highway 89 in Sierra County and has two others planned for construction next season. The district also built a wildlife crossing on Highway 50 and has a project programmed for next season to study wildlife activity near state highways.

In addition, Caltrans has wildlife warning signs posted in key areas along its state highway system and will be installing more with help from CDFW and other partner agencies. Caltrans will also be using its electronic message boards to alert motorists of increased wildlife activity.

Caltrans District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. CDFW’s North Central Region is responsible for managing California’s diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources across 17 counties.

Please visit the Living with Wildlife web page at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Living-with-Wildlife for more information and to report a wildlife incident or dead or injured wildlife.

Media Contacts:
Steve Nelson, Caltrans, (530) 741-4566

Dana Michaels, CDFW, (916) 322-2420

Caltrans and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Urge Motorists to Be Alert During Watch Out for Wildlife Week

Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) remind motorists to remain alert for wildlife near roadways during Watch Out for Wildlife Week (WOW), which runs September 15-21.

“It’s important that motorists, when driving through areas frequented by deer, elk and other animals, be alert to protect themselves as well as California’s wildlife,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native species and their natural communities, reports more than 200 people are killed nationally in collisions with deer, elk and other large mammals each year with an estimated 1.5 million animals hit annually.

The Watch Out for Wildlife campaign is supported by Caltrans, CDFW, Defenders and the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

“It’s a shame that many animals and people are injured and killed on our roads every year,” said Craig Stowers, CDFW’s Game Program Manager. “Many injuries, deaths and costly vehicle repairs can be avoided if drivers would pay more attention when animals are most active, and be prepared to react safely if an animal moves onto the road.”

Caltrans, CDFW and Defenders offer a few tips for motorists:

  • Be particularly alert when driving in areas frequented by wildlife and give yourself more time to react safely by reducing your speed.
  • Pay particular attention when driving during morning and evening, as wildlife are most active during these times.
  • If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following.
  • Don’t litter. The odors may entice animals to venture near roadways.

Here are a few examples of what Caltrans, CDFW and their partners are doing to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions:

a beautiful golden bob cat walking out from a highway underpass
A bobcat that just crossed safely under State Route 76 in San Diego County. Caltrans photo
two coyotes walk into concrete underpass to reach other side of a highway
Coyotes safely cross under SR 76 in San Diego County. Caltrans photo

Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing, Los Angeles County
Caltrans has applied for $2 million in federal funding for the environmental and engineering design phases of a future wildlife crossing over U.S. Highway 101 at Liberty Canyon Road in Agoura Hills. In the interim, Caltrans is providing wildlife fencing in Liberty Canyon to prevent wildlife mortalities along the freeway until a permanent structure can be built. The highway presents an impassible barrier for wildlife migrating into or out of the Santa Monica Mountains.  A new wildlife crossing promises to provide an improved habitat connection that will sustain and improve the genetic diversity of wildlife in the area.

State Route 76, San Diego County
Five wildlife crossings and directional fencing were installed as part of the SR-76 Melrose to Mission Highway Improvement Project in 2012. A wildlife movement study, including road kill surveys, camera station surveys and tracking transect surveys, is underway to determine the effectiveness of the crossings and fencing. A review of the data collected to date suggests the combination of directional fencing and wildlife crossings may be limiting vehicle-wildlife collisions and allowing for wildlife movement across SR-76. Medium-to-large species using the wildlife crossings include the badger, bobcat, coyote, raccoon, striped skunk, desert cottontail and opossum.

State Route 17, Santa Cruz
Caltrans has built wildlife undercrossings to accommodate wildlife on several highways in the Bay Area and is currently working with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to build a new wildlife undercrossing at the Laurel Curve on State Route 17. Since 2007, motorists have hit 14 mountain lions along this section of the highway in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Land Trust is working to raise $5 million to purchase land on either side of the Laurel Curve, which would make it possible for Caltrans to proceed with building the undercrossing.

Central Coast
Caltrans is seeking $1.8 million in federal funding to finance wildlife corridor projects in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties where local wildlife exists in close proximity to state highways. If the request is approved, Caltrans will obtain an additional $2.5 million in state funding to finance all aspects of the projects. Caltrans assembled an extensive list of stakeholders and partners for this proposal, including the California State Coastal Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy, UC Davis, the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, the Pinnacles National Monument and the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.

Caltrans has installed new wildlife fencing and electric mats at unfenced intersections along U.S. Highway 101 near San Luis Obispo, which bisects a major wildlife corridor in the Los Padres National Forest.

Media Contacts:
Mark Dinger, Caltrans Public Affairs, 916-657-5060
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, 916-322-2420

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

DFG Partners with California Waterfowl Association to Offer SHARE Hunts

Through a unique partnership with landowners, The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is opening up additional hunting opportunities on private lands previously closed to the public.

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DFG and the California Waterfowl Association (CWA) are offering hunting opportunities through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program.

DFG was awarded a grant through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) in 2011. The grant is designed to assist states and tribal governments by encouraging owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch, and forest land to make that land available for public access to hunting.

Beginning this month DFG and CWA will institute a three-year effort allowing hunters of all ages the ability to hunt on lands otherwise unavailable for public use. These opportunities are offered through CWA’s Hunt Program and will increase land owner participation in offering public hunter access.

Through the partnership 70 individual landowners who collectively own more than 50,000 acres have allowed access to their respective properties for hunting opportunities. More than 400 hunters will be able to hunt on lands for waterfowl, pheasant, dove, turkey, and wild pigs. In addition to providing hunts to the general hunting public, the program will host specialty hunts that cater to all hunters. Hunt locations range from the Klamath Basin to southern California.

Please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share or http://www.calwaterfowl.org for more information.

Contacts:
Victoria Barr, DFG Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement Program Coordinator (916) 445-4034
Jeff Smith, California Waterfowl Association Hunt Program Coordinator, (530) 305-9234
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958