Question: We live in a residential subdivision in Sonoma County and there is a wild male pig rooting around the homes. This pig is making himself at home and rooting up the unfenced ground around our home. This is a residential zoning so we cannot shoot him, not that we want to.
Answer: First of all I suggest you make sure no garbage or food are being left out to draw the animal into your neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors about this and make sure your homeowners association spreads the word.
Homeowners associations differ from place to place, but most are within a designated city limit and most cities impose firearm discharge restrictions for the general populous. Thus, this would make shooting the pig unlawful in most situations. As such, hunting and immediate take are not options. Landowners or your housing association can apply to the Department of Fish and Game for a depredation permit and then contact a federal trapper through USDA Wildlife Services who operate in select California Counties www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage) to trap and remove the pig.
Question: My 8-year-old caught a pair of western fence lizards in the park near our house. He brought them home and they're doing very well in a terrarium in his room. We did some online research to find out how to care for them and came across several lively debates as to whether it's legal to keep them as pets. Some believe it's against the law unless you have a collection permit, while others say it's only illegal to collect and keep threatened or endangered species. My son would like to keep them, but doesn't want to break any Fish and Game laws. Kirsten M., Sacramento
Answer: Lizards are considered herps, and herps fall under the fishing regulations. Herps may be taken in accordance with section 5.60 in the Freshwater Fishing Regulations. A fishing license is required for those 16 and older. Western fence lizards are legal to take but they cannot be traded, bartered or sold and the bag limit is 25.
Question: This past duck season, I hunted at a private club with a guide. We did OK but the birds all seemed to want to go to the club next door. The guide told me that was because the neighbor had corn on his property and the ducks went there to feed.
I asked him if that was baiting, which I thought was illegal. The guide said that the corn they had next door was "standing corn" which was not harvested and left to fall on its own. He said as long as the owner didn't harvest the corn, that it was not considered baiting. Is this correct? Luke B.
Answer: Yes, the guide was correct. Baiting of waterfowl fall under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 50, section 20.21(i), available online at www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.
-- Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone's questions, she will select a few to answer. Contact her at CalOutdoors@df .ca.gov.