Tags: Gun Control | hunting | california | animals | endangered | protected

Hunting in California: Four Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Saturday, 16 May 2015 12:25 PM

California has a vibrant and diverse range of ecosystems with game animals available for hunting. There are a number of species that are excluding from hunting activities, whether one is engaging in archery, rifle, muzzleloader, or trapping. These nongame species are listed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, at the state or federal level, as threatened, endangered, or fully protected. All hunters should familiarize themselves with the full list of protected animals that potentially inhabit the areas in which they intend to hunt.

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Most wild animals, not even predators, will stalk or actively threaten a hunter unless they feel threatened. In the event that a member of one of these protected species is encountered while hunting, the information about the sighting can be shared with the California Department of Fish and Game through the California Natural Diversity Database. Here are a few of the major critters that hunters might encounter.

1. Mountain Lions: Nongame

Unless a person is "grandfathered" with a permit dating back before June 1990, it is illegal to possess a full or partial carcass of a California mountain lion. While this species is not listed as protected, California hunting regulations quite thoroughly extend their nongame status in all hunting regions of the state.

2. Raptors: Fully Protected

The California condor, bald eagle, and golden eagle are just a few of the more easily recognized raptors classified as fully protected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. For eagles specifically, it is a federal offense to even possess one of their feathers. Only Native American tribes have special exemption to this for religious and cultural reasons.

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3. Bighorn Sheep: Fully Protected


The sole exception to the protected status of bighorn sheep is the restricted hunting on the Nelson population in areas specified by California's hunting regulation. The limited quantity tags are disbursed via lottery among those who apply for them.

4. Gray Wolf: Fully Protected

According to the Environmental Protection Information Center, the first reported wolf in 85 years returned to California in December 2011. Persons hunting or trapping for furbearers, or otherwise intending to shoot at coyotes, should be confident in their ability to distinguish between coyotes and wolves. Both the federal and state fish and wildlife departments offer a variety of resources to assist hunters. The best methods for differentiating are the ears, muzzle, and tail stance. Contact the state game commission immediately if a trap ensnares or injures a protected animal.

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California has a vibrant and diverse range of ecosystems with game animals available for hunting. There are a number of species that are excluding from hunting activities, whether one is engaging in archery, rifle, muzzleloader, or trapping.
hunting, california, animals, endangered, protected
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2015-25-16
Saturday, 16 May 2015 12:25 PM
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