Tag Archives: elk

SHARE Program Offers Elk Hunts in Northern California, Including New Properties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program is now taking applications for 37 elk hunting opportunities. The hunts will take place Aug. 15 through Dec. 13, 2016 on 21 properties in Colusa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Siskiyou counties. Applications will be on sale from Friday, June 17 through Monday, July 25.

Fifteen of the 21 properties are new additions to the SHARE program, which partners with private landowners to provide additional hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities for the public. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. More information about the SHARE program, including specifics for the upcoming  elk hunts, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

All elk tags will be distributed through a random draw process. These hunts are in addition to those issued through the big game drawing and no preference points will be considered or used. Applications can be purchased by anyone with a valid California hunting license from any CDFW license office or online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales.

An $11.37 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt application. Successful applicants will be notified on July 29.

Elk hunters are reminded it is legal to take only one elk in California per year.

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

Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

CDFW Plans Public Meeting On Proposed Elk Hunting Regulations

Elk herdThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is preparing a draft environmental document to address potential impacts resulting from the implementation of elk hunting regulations. A public scoping meeting regarding the document is scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at CDFW’s Wildlife Branch, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814).

The public is invited to comment on potentially significant environmental effects that may result from the proposed regulations, as well as any feasible mitigation measures that should be addressed.

In lieu of attending the meeting, interested parties may also submit written comments via email to joe.hobbs@wildlife.ca.gov or by standard mail to CDFW Statewide Elk and Antelope Coordinator Joe Hobbs, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices or contact Hobbs at (916) 445-9992 or at joe.hobbs@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Joe Hobbs, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-9992

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

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

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

DFG Reminds Hunters to Help Keep Chronic Wasting Disease Out of California

Media Contacts:
Dr. Pam Swift, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 358-1462
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds out-of-state hunters to take appropriate precautions to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into California. CWD is a neurological disease that does not affect humans, but is fatal to deer, elk and moose. Prior to leaving the state, big game hunters are asked to review DFG’s short online video that shows how to properly process deer or elk before bringing it across state lines. The video can be viewed on DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/cwd/. (Please note that the video is graphic in nature.)
 
“There is real concern that a CWD-infected carcass will be transported into California and improperly disposed of in deer or elk habitat, resulting in infection in California cervids,” says DFG Senior Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. Pamela Swift. “CWD has the potential to devastate our deer and elk populations if it enters the state.”
 
California hunting regulations specifically prohibit importing brain or spinal cord tissue from deer and elk harvested out of state to minimize the risk of introducing CWD into the state. Hunters are encouraged to bone out their deer or elk harvested out of state and only bring in deboned meat. In addition, it is recommended that some parts are properly disposed of and not consumed, including eyes, lymph nodes, tonsils and spleen from these animals.
 
Wardens have the authority to inspect harvested game and conduct vehicle stops when successful hunters return to California.
 
“Taking the time to learn about safe harvesting practices and current state laws is the ethical responsibility of every hunter,” said DFG Assistant Chief Paul Hamdorf. ”DFG makes every effort to educate the public about the dangers of diseases like this one, because just one mistake on the part of an uninformed hunter could potentially harm populations.”
 
CWD regulations passed in 2002 were updated in 2008 to help protect the state’s deer and elk herds. Summaries of the regulations are printed in the 2010-2011 Mammal Hunting Regulations (www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/mammalregs.aspx) and the 2011 California Hunting Digest Big Game issue (www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/), and are codified in the California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 712.
 
The regulations state that only the following hunter-harvested deer and elk parts are allowed into California:
 
• portions of meat with no part of the spinal column, brain or head attached (other bones, such as legs and shoulders, may be attached)
 
• hides and capes (no spinal column, brain tissue or head may be attached)
 
• clean skull plates (no brain tissue may be present) with antlers attached
 
• antlers with no meat or tissue attached, except legally harvested and possessed antlers in the velvet stage are allowed, if no meat, brain or other tissue is attached
 
• finished taxidermy mounts with no meat or tissue attached (antlers in the velvet stage are allowed if no meat, brain or other tissue is attached)
 
• upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers and ivories)
 
California hunters who have been successful out of state must also complete and return the “Declaration for Entry into California of Game, Fish, Birds or Animals” form prior to returning home. The form is available both at DFG regional offices and online at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/docs/declaration_form.pdf. Failure to complete the forms could result in a citation, fines or a misdemeanor conviction.
 
California hunters should also be aware that other states have regulations in place to prevent the spread of CWD. Hunters should always review regulations specific to any state where they hunt, to be sure they are in compliance with local laws.
 
CWD has been detected in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. It has also been detected in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. To date, there is no cure for the disease, which remains resilient and has a long incubation period.