Archive for the 'Hunting/Fishing Articles' Category

March 22nd 2014
Dixon Game Club will hold a

Posted under Feature Stories from the IV & Hunting/Fishing Articles & Outdoors & That's Life Columns

Dixon Game Club will hold a…

“Get your hunting license” class


Whether you are a youngster trying to get a hunting license for the first time or an adult in need of a “hunter safety certificate” you will need to sign up for the upcoming hunter safety class. A previous California hunter’s license used to be sufficient in other states to obtain a non-resident hunting license. Now many states require the actual safety certificate. So if you are planning to hunt out of state this year you need to check and see what the requirements are. This class will be one of the few chances you’ll have to obtain this necessary certificate.

There will be a  California Department of Fish & Wildlife sanctioned “Hunter Safety Class” on April 5th and 6th, 2014.  The class will be held at the Dixon Game Club building 250 West Mayes Street in Dixon. The class will start at 8 am on April 5, and end around 3 pm, and on April 6 class will start at 8 and end around noon.  Students must attend both days in order to participate in the class. You can’t get a California hunting license without a hunter safety certificate. 

Cost of the class is $10. Anyone interested in attending should call (707) 678-9155 to reserve a spot because space is limited and reservations will be filled on a first come, first served basis. When you call leave your name and a contact number. An instructor will then return your call and schedule your reserved spot for the class.


Also, The Dixon Game Club is looking for youth 15 years old and younger with shooting experience to participate in a “Sporting Clay Shoot” to be held on July 6, 2014, at the Birds Landing Shooting Club. Anyone interested can send their name, age and contact info to the Dixon Game Club at 250 West Mayes Street, Dixon, Ca. 95620, before June 15, 2014.  The club will sponsor young shooters for cost of the event which is $40 per shooter.  If you have any questions, you may call the club house at (707) 678-9155, leave a message and someone will get back to you ASAP.


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September 7th 2013
IV Outdoor Editor Pushes the limits

Posted under Hunting/Fishing Articles & Independent Voice News Stories & News Stories & Outdoors


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Photos and story from the Independent Voice Newspaper, Ted Hickman, Outdoor Editor

I haven’t missed an opening day of dove, duck or deer seasons in almost five decades. So with this past Sunday, September 1, being the opening day of dove season I got up at 5 a.m. and went out with friends and caught a limit of leopard sharks. Actually we caught 11 and kept four, the limit is three each. That was in the morning. That evening we, my first wife Linda and I, joined our neighbors Shane and Missy Nichols for an afternoon dove hunt.

            Let me back up for a minute. I got invited on the shark trip by friends and it had to be Sunday morning because of the tides. We fished San Pablo Bay in weather about as good as it gets. With expert captain Arnold and first mate Kevin (this was a private boat, not commercial) they applied their combined knowledge and narrowed the luck factor down to methods, which over time, have proved to work. Of the 11 Leopards we caught the biggest was about 51 inches and we brought four home even though most exceeded the 36 minimum size limit for keepers. The fish has a firm texture and no bones and is close to sturgeon in taste and consistency. You can’t buy it and you want to eat you’ve got to catch it. Great trip and great fish to eat broiled, baked or fried.


            We got home in early afternoon took a nap and headed out north of town for an evening dove hunt. Missy just got her hunting license and Linda has had hers’ longer than Missy has been alive. The ladies got a lot of shooting with 20 gauge over and unders and I worked on perfecting my “shoot and release” for which I have become famous. I got my usual limit (5) even thought the state’s limit is 10. We shot a lot, didn’t hurt the bird population that much and even got a couple of the nasty Eurasians in the mix.

            Why hunt dove? They are delicious. Of all the ways to fix them marinated in garlic and olive oil, wrapped in bacon and grilled has to be the top choice of most outdoor cooking specialists. Like the shark you can’t buy them in the store. If you want o eat them you have to go out and try to shoot the fast little buggers in 15 mph winds…not an easy thing to do.


   We were also hunting in the thunder, lighting, double rainbow evening which was absolutely beautiful to see.


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August 29th 2013
Dove Season Opens Sunday…

Posted under Hunting/Fishing Articles & That's Life Columns

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Eurasian collared dove on the left and the native mourning dove on the right.

State Dove Season

Opens this Sunday

Story and photos by Ted Hickman

            Don’t be surprised if around sunrise Sunday if you hear a series of “pops” as many area residents take to the fields for the annual Mourning dove hunt. The 15 day season allows for 10 birds per day per person with a collective three day limit in possession after the third day.

            The fast flying birds are a delicacy enjoyed by generations of rural residents throughout the west. The entire population is endangered with the introduction of a foreign dove species, the Eurasian ringed neck dove which can be about twice the size and three times as aggressive as the timid native bird. The new bully on the block has raised such a red flag warning to department of fish and game biologist that a no limit bounty has been put on it during the regular season in the Northern part of the state.

In the southern part of California a no season and no limit hunt has been imposed with biologist hoping some control can be found over the Eurasian’s burgeoning population. The birds by the thousands can do serious crop damage.

You can see this bigger, louder and more aggressive dove in your own Dixon area. Seen side by side with the petite mourning dove they are bigger, have slightly a purple hue to its breast feathers and a square tail feather as opposed to the pointed tail feathers of the native Mourning dove. They also look more like a pigeon when they fly and make a strange sound.

Dove Season Opens Sunday


Season / Area

Season Dates

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Mourning Dove
and White-winged Dove
All Sep 1 – 15 & 

Second season:

Nov 9 –   December 23

10; All of one species or mixed Triple the daily bag
Spotted Dove,
Eurasian Collared Dove,
and Ringed Turtle Dove
No limit
Eurasian Collared Dove Imperial County Only All Year No limit


Special Dove Hunting Opportunity Offered on Cosumnes River Preserve…Dove season is approaching and people seeking hunting opportunities can visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Upland Game Bird Program’s web page. It lists numerous statewide hunts, including the North Central Region’s Cosumnes River Preserve hunt.


Dove season is scheduled Sept. 1-15 and Nov. 10-Dec. 2. Additional information on species and bag limits can be found at In CDFW’s North Central Region, which serves Plumas, Sierra, Butte, Glenn, Lake, Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties, there will be one special hunt opportunity Sept. 1 on the Cosumnes River Preserve located in Sacramento County. Applications and information are available online at


Hunters will be selected by a computerized drawing. Applicants must submit an application with their choice of hunts listed in order of reference. Applications may include up to two hunters applying as a party. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will result in disqualification.


The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp supports these special hunts and other programs that provide additional upland game bird hunting opportunities. The stamp is required for all upland game bird hunters except apprentice hunters.

2013-2014 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons and Upland Game Regulations Changes Adopted

The California Fish and Game Commission adopted the 2013-2014 waterfowl and upland game bird hunting regulations on Aug. 7. Possession limits were increased from double to triple the daily bag limit for waterfowl, band-tailed pigeon, doves, snipe, pheasant, quail, sooty/ruffed grouse and chukar. A new late season hunt for white-fronted geese and white geese was established in the Northeastern Zone, as well as a new early archery season for pheasants statewide. 


Additionally, in response to the increasing invasion of Eurasian collared-doves, the Commission authorized year-round hunting in Imperial County (where the species is most abundant), beginning Sept. 1.


Specific changes are as follows:



  • The Balance of State and Southern California zones will be open from Oct. 19, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014. Scaup season will be open from Nov. 2, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014.
  • The Northeastern Zone will be open from Oct. 5, 2013 through Jan. 17, 2014.  Scaup season will be open from Oct. 5, 2013 through Dec. 29, 2013.
  • The Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone will be open from Oct. 5, 2013 through Oct. 20, 2013 and from Nov. 2, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014. Scaup season will be open from Nov. 2, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014.
  • The Colorado River Zone will be open from Oct. 18, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014. Scaup season will be open from Nov. 2, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014.

Bag Limits

  • 7 ducks per day, which includes no more than 2 hen mallards (or Mexican-like ducks in the Colorado River Zone), 2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads and 3 scaup (during the 86-day season).



  • The Balance of State, Southern California and Southern San Joaquin Valley zones will be open from Oct. 19, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014.
    • Early Canada geese season (Balance of State Zone) will be open from Sept. 28, 2013 through Oct. 2, 2013.
    • Late white-fronted and white geese season (Balance of State Zone) will be open from Feb. 15, 2014 through Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Northeastern Zone dark geese season will be open from Oct. 5, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014 and white geese season will be open from Nov. 1, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014.
    • Late white geese season will be open from Feb. 7, 2014 through Mar. 10, 2014.
    • Late white-fronted geese season will be open from Mar. 6, 2014 through Mar. 10, 2014.
  • The Colorado River Zone will be open from Oct. 18, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014.

Bag Limits

  • 10 total geese per day, which may include 10 white geese.
  • 6 dark geese, with no more than 2 large Canada geese in the Northeastern Zone; 3 dark geese in the Southern California and Colorado River zones.

Upland Game

  • Early archery pheasant season will be open from Oct. 12, 2013 through Nov. 3, 2013. Archery hunting for pheasants is not allowed on Type A and B Wildlife Areas.
  • Eurasian collared-dove will be open year-round in Imperial County after Sept. 1. Existing seasons remain in effect for the rest of the state.
  • Sage-grouse hunting permits were authorized in North Mono (30) and South Mono (25) zones. No permits were authorized for either Lassen Zone following large-scale habitat loss resulting from the 2012 Rush Fire

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March 7th 2013
Wild turkey abundant…not that kind…

Posted under Feature Stories from the IV & Hunting/Fishing Articles & Independent Voice News Stories & News Stories & Outdoors & Pictures


Wild Turkeys are being


Seen throughout the city




This young wild Tom (see the “beard” and red head) was seen with a group of seven in the front yard of a house in the city limits on Pitt School Road one afternoon a few days ago. The flock frequents this area but roams all over the city.
Photo by Ted Hickman


Wild Turkeys not long ago were unheard of in Solano County and never in and around Dixon. Times have changed to the point where grown adult turkeys both Toms (boy ones) and Hens (girl ones) are seen regularly within the streets of the city. This nationwide, is one of the most successful re-introduction of a decimated species on record thanks largely to the WTF…Wild Turkey Federation. 

    Last week a small flock of about seven were seen roaming around the southwest area of the city, and right downtown by the funeral home, and another bunch in the northwest subdivision, all in the same day. There appears to be two to three flocks living in and around the city.
    Always a novelty when they first show up people are mesmerized by the shear size of the birds (they can get up to around 20 pounds) and the Toms “fanning” their tail feathers this time of the year as a breeding dance for the hens. As the bird numbers grow people tire rapidly of the Toms gobbling and “messes” the birds leave along with their ability to eat just about any garden foliage one can plant. Then they don’t endear themselves by hopping up on the slippery hood of a car or truck and gashing the paint as they try to get a foot hold. The other thing people are amazed by is the fact these huge birds can fly, and fly high and fast. They typically come out of their roost (in a tall tree) a little before sunrise and go back to them a while before dark.
    There is both a spring and late season for turkey hunters. The spring season is just around the corner with the general season March 30 thru May 5. Special youth hunts are set for March 23-24 and May 6-19th. Archery only is also listed as being May 6-19th.
    The birds are traditionally hunted with shot guns from ground blinds and are called in to decoys by several methods form diaphragm to box calls. The limit is three per- person-per season with the daily bag limit set at one bearded turkey per day for the spring hunt (see beard in the photo above).

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February 22nd 2013
Late season geese arrive

Posted under Feature Stories from the IV & Hunting/Fishing Articles & Independent Voice News Stories & News Stories & That's Life Columns

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Every year tens of thousands of Snow Geese and Speckeled Belly Geese stop over in Dixon on their way back to their Arctic feeding/breeding grounds. There are so many snows now they are eating themselves out of habitat in the fragile tundra so a special “late season” has been set by the California (and federal) F&G to reduce the numbers. The problem is each year they arrive in rural Dixon about a month after the special hunt season. This year was different when they arrived on Valentine’s Day by the 10’s of thousands in rural Southeast Dixon. From the Levy, on Levy Road it looked like fields were covered in snow; hence the Snow Goose name. Linda Hickman is seen walking to within 50 yards of one huge flock. She and IV photographer Ted Hickman then backed away to they didn’t make the birds take flight. The flock strung out across three pastures and was primarily Snow geese although big flights of Specks were seen in the same area…By the way, the special season this year was Feb. 16 to th 20th when tens of thousands of geese were here. There are no reports of anyone knowing they were here or hunting them.


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December 13th 2012
DFG Seeks Public Comment

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column

DFG Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Hunter Education Instructor Incentive Program Regulations


The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is proposing new regulations to support an increase in the number of hunter education instructors in the state. Currently, there are not enough instructors to keep up with the public’s demand for mandatory hunter education classes. The regulations would create an incentive program to help recruit new instructors and to retain current ones.


The proposed regulations, which would be added to the California Code of Regulations Title 14, establish specific criteria to participate in the hunter education instructor incentive program. These criteria include employment status, length of service, in-service training requirements, compliance with existing game laws and payment of an application fee.

The proposal also creates a drawing system to equitably distribute the incentive opportunities. These incentives include, but are not limited to, fully guided hunts, limited-entry big game tags and firearms. Eligible instructors would be assigned a random number for the drawing. Those with the lowest numbers would receive the highest-rated opportunities. The proposal also establishes a system to redistribute tags in the event any instructor is unable or unwilling to utilize the opportunity provided.


The proposal rewards long-term service as a hunter educator by providing additional entries per drawing. For example, instructors must complete three years of service in order to participate in the incentive program and they will earn an additional entry for each additional 10 years of service. The proposed regulations are available for comment period from Dec. 10, 2012, until Dec. 26, 2012.


The proposed regulations are available on the DFG website at All comments must be received by DFG no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 26, 2012. Comments can be emailed to , mailed or hand-delivered to:


Roy Griffith, Captain / Hunter Education Program

Department of Fish and Game

1416 Ninth Street / Room 1342-6A

Sacramento, CA 95814


Comments received by the due date will be considered before the regulations are adopted.


Questions about the regulations should be directed to Capt. Roy Griffith, Hunter Education Program Administrator, at (916) 653-9727 or

Department of Fish and Game News Release

California Outdoors Q&As

Taking Youth Hunters to Public Wildlife Areas

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 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. (Steve H.)

Answer: Persons hunting under the authority of a Junior Hunting License on state Wildlife Areas (or federal areas managed by Department of Fish and Game (DFG)) where entry permits are required are exempt from the permit and pass requirements, except they must have a no-fee entry permit issued to them. Holders of Junior Hunting Licenses are only eligible for entry permits when accompanied by an adult (18 years or older). One adult may accompany up to two holders of Junior Hunting Licenses. In addition, adults must accompany holders of Junior Hunting Licenses on Type A and Type B areas.

For additional information regarding hunters using Junior Hunting Licenses on state Wildlife Areas, please 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

Additional and specific information regarding entering and hunting on State Wildlife Areas is available for each Area online at

Catching salmon while fishing for halibut?

Rich Reeser

Question: I have an ongoing debate with a friend and am hoping you can resolve it. Lets say salmon season is open but Im 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 hook up with an untargeted ling cod? If you can cite which code is correct for these situations, I can finally put this to bed. Your help will be greatly appreciated. (Tom C.)

Answer: First of all, salmon may only be taken on a barbless hook. Possession of salmon taken on any gear other than the gear described in regulations is illegal. Thus, unless your halibut rig is a barbless circle hook (doubtful!), you would have to immediately release any salmon you catch on it, regardless of the condition of the salmon (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 groundfish management area, and the groundfish season is open (CCR Title 14, sections 28.27 and 28.65).

How to avoid bear “baiting” situations?

Question: The regulation booklet says no baiting for bear or no bear shall be taken within 400 yards from 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. Is the law implying that baiting is allowed as long as the hunter shoots the bear from more than 400 yards away? How can Fish and 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? Please clarify. (Pao H.)

Answer: Regulations prohibit placing feed, bait or other materials capable of attracting a bear in any location for the purpose of taking a bear (CCR Title 14, section 365(e)). This portion of the regulation prohibits these acts and is not dependant 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 may 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 constitute feed or 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.

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December 6th 2012
Interesting slant on things AMERICA’S HUNTERS —

Posted under Hunting/Fishing Articles & Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column

Pretty Amazing!

The world’s largest army… America ‘s hunters! I had never thought about this…A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion:

There were over 600,000 hunters
this season in the state of Wisconsin ..
Allow me to restate that number: 600,000

Over the last several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world.

More men under arms than in Iran .

More than France and Germany combined.

These men deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin , to hunt with firearms, and no one was killed.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan’s 700,000 hunters, all of whom have now returned home safely.
Toss in a quarter million hunters
in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the hunters of those four states alone
would comprise the largest army in the world.
And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states.
It’s millions more.

The point?

America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower.

it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.


That’s why all enemies, foreign and domestic,
want to see us disarmed.

Food for thought…when next they consider gun control.

Overall it’s true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remain…
What army of 2 million would want to face 30, 40, 50 million armed citizens???


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November 30th 2012
December 2012 Department of Fish and Game Calendar

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column

Rich Reeser’s Outdoor Coumn



Dr. Troy Stevens of Dixon took this black tail buck with a bow the last Saturday (on the second to the last day of the season) when he was in Oregon for a family Thanksgiving weekend. 


Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours, the first three weekends of each fall/winter month through February at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi. The docent-led tours start approximately 90 minutes before sundown and run to about 30 minutes after sunset. Pre-tour registration is required online at and may be made up to six weeks in advance. Suggested donation is $10 per adult. The South unit of Woodbridge ER is accessible to the public at any time. It features informative interpretive panels, and viewing of sandhill crane ‘fly-over’ at sundown is common. The Woodbridge North unit (accessible only by tour) includes a bird-viewing blind and typically receives the ‘fly-in’ where the cranes come to roost for the night. For more information please visit the website or call (209) 948-7708.


Guided Swan Tours in rice fields near Marysville, Saturdays in December, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Driving tours along a short route with very little walking required. See tundra swans, ducks, geese, cranes, shorebirds, white pelicans, herons, egrets and raptors. Pre-registration is required on the DFG website, Tours are free, but registrants are encouraged to make a donation online to the California Wildlife Foundation to support this program. For more information please call (916) 358-2852.


Weekends — Guided Wetland Tours of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley (95948). On the Pacific Flyway at the base of the Sutter Buttes, Gray Lodge WA is one of the premier birding spots in northern California. This public land provides appealing habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. Migrating ducks arrive through fall and winter populations grow to hundreds of thousands. Local experts lead a 0.3-mile stroll on a paved trail to an elevated viewing deck and discuss wildlife adaptations, natural history, conservation efforts and how to identify wildlife. Tours are included in the $4 entrance fee and self-guided visitors are also welcome. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. Please make reservations for groups of 12 or more. For information or scheduling, contact the Gray Lodge WA Naturalist Office at (530) 846-7505 or, and visit


Weekends — Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks, every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use fee is $4.32 per person, age 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. Directions and more information at


Every Monday — Volunteer Stewardship Field Crew Mondays at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Rd., Royal Oaks (95076), 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Help preserve natural habitat by doing seed collection, planting, trail maintenance and weeding introduced species. Details at or


1 — First day (scheduled) of commercial Dungeness crab season from Mendocino County northward. Subject to change. Please visit for details and updates.


1, 6, 13, 22 — Waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Hayward. Open to 100 hunters a day on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for these hunts and check-in time for all dates is 5 a.m. All hunters must possess a valid California Hunting License, federal and state duck stamps, and they must complete the harvest information program survey. Holders of junior licenses must be accompanied by an adult, who may be a non-hunter. For more information please visit


5 — Spiny Lobster Advisory Committee meeting, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Department of Fish and Game, 4665 Lampson Ave., Suite C, Los Alamitos (90720). This meeting is open to the general public for observation, and a brief comment period will be allowed. For more information and to view the meeting agenda please visit


5 — Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Port of Long Beach, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach (90802). Details at To obtain an agenda, please contact the committee at (310) 519-3134.


6 — DFG Climate College lecture: The National Response: What are other state and federal partners doing? 1 to 2 p.m. at the Natural Resources Agency Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). It will also be broadcast live via WebEx. Guest speakers are Richard Kearney, Assistant Regional Director, Science Application, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Arpita Choudhury, Science and Research Liaison, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Lectures are designed for DFG employees but open to our partners and the public. Please e-mail to sign up if not already registered for the course, and indicate whether you intend to participate in person or via WebEx. Please register at least two days prior to the lecture. More information at


6 — Flyway Nights Lecture Series: Coyotes in our Midst – Learning to Live with North America’s Native “Song Dog. Presentation by Camilla Fox, Executive Director, Project Coyote. 7 p.m. at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area headquarters building. Enjoy a night of nature-related enrichment and inspiration. A $5 donation per person or $10 per family is suggested at the door. For more information please see


8 — Public Tour of Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month. Tour the 16,000-acre Yolo Wildlife Area with an experienced field trip leader the second Saturday of the month from September through June. View flooded seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Depending on the season, look for migrating and resident waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. A $5 donation is suggested. Please call (530) 757-4828 the morning of the trip for a recorded message for trip cancellations. More information is at


9 — Last day of fall turkey season. Please see the regulations booklet at


12 — Fish and Game Commission meeting at the Bahia Resort Hotel Del Mar Room, 998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego (92109). Please visit for more information. View or listen to California Fish and Game Commission meetings in real time via Internet webcasting.


13 — Environmental Enhancement Fund Committee meeting, 10 a.m. to noon at the California Coastal Conservancy’s 11th floor conference room, 1330 Broadway, Oakland (94612).


15-23 — Band-tailed pigeon season in the southern zone. Please see regulations at


19 — Level 1 Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Training, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Department of Fish and Game La Grange Habitat Shop, 737 N. Old La Grange Road, La Grange (95329). Free to watershed groups, reservoir and lake operators, and federal, state and local officials. For information or to register, please contact Kelley Aubushon at or call (559) 243-4017 ext. 285. Please register by Dec. 14, 2012.


24 — Last day of late dove season. Please see regulations at


25 — State offices closed for Christmas holiday.


31 — Last day of recreational groundfish season for all boat-based anglers from Point Arena (38° 57.5’ N lat., Sonoma County) to the U.S.-Mexico border. For more information please visit


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November 15th 2012

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column

U.S.A fishing reports that on Friday 11-9 Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported salmon fishing has definitely slowed, but anywhere from 1 to 6 fish have been taken daily from the combined sites of the State Park and 1st Street. She said, “This is still incredible for this late date.” Striper fishing remains good from the shoreline, and Benicia Bait has been able to keep blood worms in the shop even during the rough stretch during Hurricane Sandy. She said, “We are selling as many bullheads as we are able to bring into the shop, and some days ‘1000 isn’t enough.” The best action has been from the Big Cut towards Pittsburg. They also have all of the baits in the shop.
 Do at Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported continued excellent action for both sturgeon and stripers. He went fishing this morning prior to the rains, and they put in limits, including his at 10 and 12-pounds on live bullheads in 30 feet of water. Do said, “I lost a really big fish that broke my leader.” He added that some of the stripers picked up the bait and ran while others just sucked in the bait. Sturgeon fishing remains outstanding in the area while a few salmon have been landed off of the rockwall near the launch ramps.

Rio Vista Bait reported good striper fishing near Decker Island and the Sherman Island Power Lines on the Sacramento River while the best action on the San Joaquin has been around the Antioch Bridge and the Antioch Fishing Pier. A few sturgeon are showing up near the Rio Vista Bridge, but the Power Lines remain the top local area for diamondbacks. During last week’s rain, sturgeon were also taken in Prospect and Cache Sloughs while striper action improved in Lindsey Slough. Salmon fishing is taking a back seat to stripers.
Rick Frisk at the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi reported improved sturgeon fishing at the Power Lines with two boats fishing together on Sunday reportedly catching and releasing 16 sturgeon from 40 to 78-inches on grass shrimp or salmon roe. Striper fishing is also improving with Wayne P. of Lodi, a regular lineside destroyer, landing limits to 17-pounds on the San Joaquin River near Eddo’s Boat Harbor on fresh shad. The grass was reported to be very problematic, but they landed their fish. One the Sacramento River, Frisk touted Sherman Island and Light 8 for stripers in the 6 to 10-pound range.
H and R Bait in Stockton reported good striper action near the Tracy Oasis with the larger fish taken on live mudsuckers or bullheads. A smaller grade of stripers are found on fresh shad, and the Middle and Old Rivers have been producing linesides to 28-inches. They continue to receive around 60-pounds of fresh shad per day, and they are freezing around half of this amount.

California Dept of Fish & Game Outdoors Q&As

Hunting from a Boat along the San Joaquin Delta


Question: I was recently told that I can hunt anywhere along the San Joaquin Delta for waterfowl as long as the boat is not moving and I don’t use a motor to retrieve the ducks and geese. I am wondering if this is true or are there only specific areas where waterfowl hunting is allowed? (Ryan S.)

Answer: Many areas of the San Joaquin Delta are open to waterfowl hunting from a boat, but general laws do apply so you could not hunt or shoot a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling, cannot hunt on private property or within prohibited areas such as municipalities. It is important to research your specific hunting area and know legal access points. No person shall pursue, drive, herd or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat or snowmobile (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251). Exceptions are also listed, including 1) When the motor of such motorboat, airboat, or sailboat has been shut off and/or the sails furled and its progress therefrom has ceased, and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole. Although you cannot shoot a bird while your boat is under power, you can use your motor to retrieve dead waterfowl.


Lobster report cards

Question: I have a question regarding lobster report cards. I was wondering if I have to buy a new one every time I go out. The lady at the sporting goods store said I had to. This doesn’t seem right because the limit is seven lobsters and there are about 100 spaces to fill out. Please let me know as I don’t want to keep buying these every time if I don’t really have to. (Ryan T.)

Answer: No, you do not need to buy a new report card each time you go on a lobster trip. Here are some basic tips for filling out your card properly:
Prior to beginning lobster fishing activity, you must record the month, day, location and gear code on the first available line on the report card. When you move to another location, switch gear or finish fishing for the day, you must immediately record on the card the number of lobster kept for that location using a particular gear type. New lines must be used when changing locations, days or gear types.

Enter only one gear type per line. Even if multiple gear types are deployed simultaneously, each gear type must be entered on its own line with the catch correctly split between the gear types. Only a handful of cards are returned to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) each year with every single line filled in – using new lines for each instance of changing gear, location, etc. will NOT cause you to have to buy a new card!
Make sure to write the correct information in each field (for example, don’t enter the location code where the number of lobster is supposed to be). Use the location code number – do not write in the name of the location.

Fill in all of the fields. For example, if two locations are fished on the same day, fill in the date for both locations. If no lobsters are taken, fill in “0”. An additional lobster report card may be purchased in the event an individual fills in all lines and returns the card.
All lobster report cards need to be returned, even if no lobster were taken. In the event a card was bought but not used, you should write, “did not lobster fish” across the card, and turn it in.

DFG will accept late cards but the data is important for monitoring the fishery, so returning it by the deadline helps greatly.  One last thing, don’t forget to use indelible ink. 


Carrying a sidearm while upland and small game hunting?

Question: I am a person who does everything by the book and I have a question regarding sidearms while hunting. Is it legal to carry a sidearm for protection while upland game bird and/or small game hunting or is it considered a method of take and illegal? If it is legal, does the lead-free ammunition restriction apply when in the condor range? (Bao N.)

Answer: Yes, it is legal to carry a sidearm for protection while upland game bird and/or small game hunting as long as you don’t use it to take the game. If hunting in condor country, the ammunition for your sidearm must be lead-free.


Joel Hickman, top photo, is seen with his big nine point white tail deer taken last week in Oklahoma. It was Joel’s first buck with a bow.

The second photo is father Ted who took his first deer with a muzzle loader…a nice 10 pointer. He olny had a three day period that his “primative weapon” license was valid and got the buck with his first ever shot from the black powder gun at 75 yards.

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October 19th 2012
DFG Holds Fall Pig Hunts in Yolo County

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column


The Department of Fish and Game will hold permit-only wild pig hunts in
Yolo County from Nov. 5 to Dec. 3, 2012.

Offered through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational
Enhancement (SHARE) Program, a total of 64 hunters will be selected to
hunt wild pigs through a random drawing for an access permit.

Hunts will be held at the Bobcat Ranch, located in Yolo County’s Vaca
Mountain foothills, west of Winters. Hunting under the SHARE Program
helps achieve the ranch’s long-term conservation management
objectives, including providing public hunting opportunities and
controlling the wild pig population.

Each of the eight hunts will be general method, two-day hunts. Four
permits will be issued per period. Successful applicants will be allowed
to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner (each permit is good
for two hunters).

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply through the
Automated License Data System. A $10 non-refundable application fee will
be charged for each hunt choice. Applicants may apply for multiple hunt
periods but will only be drawn for one period per property. To apply for
these hunts please go to

The SHARE Program offers incentives to private landowners who allow
wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. The
goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and
other recreational access on private lands in California. Participating
landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing
public access to or through their land for recreational activities.

California  DFG  Outdoors  Q&As


I Caught a Tagged Lobster … Now What Do I Do?

Question: While out lobster fishing last weekend, I caught a lobster with a tag attached to it. What should I do with it? (Anonymous, San Diego) 

Answer: Most lobster tags are small colored strips of plastic inserted into the underside or back of the lobster. Look closely for a unique identification code (tag number) and phone number (or website) printed on the tag. Please record the date, location where the lobster was caught (GPS coordinates are best, but distance to a recognized landmark will work if you don’t have a GPS), the carapace length of the lobster (to the nearest millimeter, if possible) and the tag number. All four pieces of information (date, location, length and tag number) are important when reporting a tagged lobster to scientists.

Lobsters may be brought to the surface to measure. However, if the lobster is less than legal size and is tagged, please quickly record the number on the tag and immediately release the lobster. Do not remove tags from any short lobsters. No undersize lobster (even if tagged) may be brought aboard a boat, placed in any type of receiver or retained in any manner.

In 2011 and 2012, scientists from the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), San Diego Oceans Foundation, San Diego State University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla collaborated with lobster fishermen and volunteers on a project to tag and monitor thousands of lobsters in Southern California. By reporting tagged lobsters, the data can then be analyzed to determine current abundance levels, size composition of the population, and movement and growth of individuals over time.

To learn more about the tagging programs or to report a lobster tagged with a blue, yellow, or green tag, please visit  


Road Hunting


Question: How far off the road must one be to begin hunting/shoot an animal? I see guys hunting ditches just off the road for pheasants all the time. Also, what constitutes a “road” for this purpose? (Michael O., Woodland)

Answer: There are several laws that apply to what you describe. Most counties regulate the distance from a public roadway a firearm may be discharged under a county ordinance. Many counties require 150 feet, but this is highly variable and you would have to check with your county to find out. It is always unlawful to negligently discharge a firearm, and California Penal Code, section 374c prohibits the discharge of a firearm from or upon a public road or highway. Fish and Game Code, section 3004(b) makes it unlawful to discharge a firearm or release an arrow or crossbow bolt over or across any public road or other established way open to the public in an unsafe and reckless manner. Definitions for road and roadway can be found in sections 527 and 530 of the California Vehicle Code.


Bear bait


Question: I live on a 50-acre ranch and want to hunt bears this year. I have been using a single bale of alfalfa as an arrow stop to practice shooting my bow on the ranch. Would this alfalfa bale be considered feed, bait or a material capable of attracting a bear in section 365 of the regulations? If so, how many days must I wait before hunting bear? (Bret G.)

Answer: Bears are more likely to be attracted to fruits and vegetables and meat products rather than alfalfa. As long as the bears aren’t attracted to the alfalfa then it would not be considered bait. However, if the alfalfa does prove to be an attractant, you will need to completely remove it and not hunt within 400 yards of the area for 10 days.

“Baiting” for bears is prohibited and this means placing or using any feed, bait or other materials capable of acting as an attractant for the purpose of taking or pursuing bears (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 365(e)). A “baited area” is defined as any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grains, salt or other feed (CCR Title 14, section 257.5).


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