Hunting feral pigs in state

December 20, 2012 

Question: Can you hunt feral pigs (a.k.a. wild hogs) from a stand over bait, if it is on a completely enclosed, high fence, licensed game ranch? I was offered such a hunt and the landowner said I wouldn't even need pig tags. although it's allowed in other states, I didn't think it was legal to do in California and so I didn't pursue it.

Would it be legal if the rancher had released his own domestically bred pigs to run wild, as he is doing legally with other exotic game animals?

Answer: No, it is not legal to hunt feral hogs over bait. However, if domestic swine are released into an area enclosed by escape-proof fencing, the pigs retain their status as domestic livestock and are neither feral nor game mammals protected by fish and game laws. based upon your description, this would not be hunting but instead killing domestic animals owned by the rancher.

If this is being advertised as "wild hog hunting" and sold as a hunt, there may be issues regarding violations of California Business and Professions Code.

Question: Is it legal to fish in the California Aqueduct System?

Answer: Yes, it is legal to fish in certain areas but not legal to trespass. Some of these areas are fenced or posted to keep folks out. Many people fish for stripers in the aqueduct. Check the regulations for where you may fish.

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 each week. Please contact her at

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