Question: My son is 11 years old and a licensed hunter. We would like to duck hunt this year at state and federal Wildlife Areas. Does he need a one- or a two-day pass? Does he need any paper work aside from his license? I would hate for him to be turned away from the check station the morning of our hunt because we were not properly prepared.
Answer: Persons hunting under a Junior Hunting License on state Wildlife Areas (or federal areas managed by Department of Fish and Game) where entry permits are required are exempt from the permit and pass requirements except they must have a no-fee entry permit. Holders of Junior Hunting Licenses are only eligible for entry permits when accompanied by an adult (18 years or older). One adult can accompany up to two Junior Hunting License holders. In addition, adults must accompany holders of Junior Hunting Licenses on Type A and Type B areas.
For more information Junior Hunting Licenses, see sections 551 (f), (g), & (h) in the 2012-2013 Upland Game and Waterfowl Regulations / Regulations for Hunting on Public Lands booklet, available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/
Q: have an ongoing debate with a friend. Let's say salmon season is open but I'm drifting for halibut and hook up on a legal-sized salmon on a halibut rig. What is the protocol?
I was unable to find anything about this in the regulations booklet, but I did find where it says it is illegal to catch and waste fish. Also, what is the protocol if trolling for salmon with regulation gear and I hook up with an untargeted ling cod? If you can cite which code is correct, I can finally put this to bed.
A: First, salmon can only be taken on a barbless hook. Possession of salmon taken on any gear other gear is illegal. Thus, unless your halibut rig is a barbless circle hook (doubtful!), you would have to immediately release any salmon you catch, regardless of its condition (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.80).
Hooking and keeping lingcod on your salmon rig is permitted as long as you are within the depth limit of the management area, and the groundfish season is open.
Q: The regulation booklet says no baiting for bear and that no bear can be taken within 400 yards of a baited areas. I'm confused. Since the law says no baiting, but then it says no bears to be taken within 400 yards of a baited area that implies that baiting is allowed as long as the hunter shoots the bear after it wanders at least 400 yards from the bait.
How can Fish & Game tell if a bear was taken from areas with or without baits? How can hunters tell if the area was baited or not? Also, what if I had just dressed a deer and the next day a bear came after the remains and I shot the bear. Is that not legal as long as I have a bear tag?
A: Regulations prohibit placing feed, bait or other materials capable of attracting a bear in any location for the purpose of taking a bear. This portion of the regulation prohibits these acts and is not dependent on distance. It is illegal to place "bait" out for the purpose of taking a bear.
In addition, the regulation also prohibits taking a bear within 400 yards of a garbage dump or any place where bait has been placed even though you might not have put it there. It is your responsibility to carefully inspect the area you intend to hunt and determine it complies with the law.
Under this regulation the remains of a deer would constitute bait and it is illegal for you to dispose of them with the intention of attracting a bear to the site, and to take any bear within 400 yards of the remains.
Q: I've been advised that there is a limit on the number of sand crabs a surf fishermen can possess. Is this true?
A: Yes, there is a limit on the number of sand crabs (Emerita analoga) a fisherman can possess. The limit is 50 sand crabs.