Can I carry a gun during archery-only season?

July 23, 2013 

Question: I am an avid bow hunter and spend most of the archery season stalking deer and bear in the deep canyons, walking from ridgeline to ridgeline carrying nothing but my bow and my two knives.

However, I have not been able to continue my crosscountry hunting trips recently due to the high numbers of marijuana gardens being found and raided in my hunting zone. I have been told that the growers have strict orders to shoot anyone that may cause a threat to the crop. After hearing this, I am fearful of being confronted by guys with guns. My question is why can't I have a firearm in my possession while bow hunting?

Answer: I appreciate your concern and understand you wanting to be safe while in the woods. But, under current California Fish and Game laws, if you choose to hunt during an archery-only (AO) season or during the general season under the authority of an AO harvest tag, it is not legal for you to be in possession of a firearm while in the field.

However, AO tags/seasons are only one option, you can instead choose to hunt during the general season under a general tag with a bow, and if so you may carry a firearm. Hunting under the AO authority grants special opportunity in exchange for leaving the firearm in camp.

With respect to archery-only hunts for deer, in order to allow the possession of firearms by anyone other than peace officers, Fish and Game Code, section 4370 would have to be amended. For other archery-only hunts, the Fish and Game Commission would need to amend the applicable regulations for those hunts. It is not up to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Question: I have begun to see fishing lures for sale on eBay that are LED-lighted. Are these legal in California? I fish the Sacramento and Feather rivers.

Answer: Yes. There are no prohibitions against using LED-lighted lures in either fresh or salt water.

Question: Do we need an ocean enforcement stamp to fish on a pier?

Answer: No sport fishing license or Ocean Enhancement Validation is required when fishing from a public pier.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She can be contacted at Cal.0utdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

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