Question: I have some ducks that I would like to find a good home for but am not sure where to start. They have been pets and I don't want to risk giving them to someone who will eat them. I'd like to release them into the wild and am hoping you can advise where I can do this. I'm willing to donate them.
Answer: I understand you are seeking a good home for your pets, but releasing domestic animals into the wild is a bad plan and often has disastrous results. Typically, domestic animals depend on humans for food and are ill-equipped to take care of themselves in the wild. When released to the wild, many end up starving to death or falling prey to any number of predators.
If the animals do survive, they typically become a nuisance in their new home and may cause damage because they tend to seek out people for food. Domestic animals also compete for resources with wildlife, and in some cases may breed with their wild counterparts which reduces the genetic fitness of wildlife populations.
Any person who willfully abandons an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor under California Penal Code.
You might try posting a notice at a local farm, feed store or your area newspaper. You could also search for petting zoos or small city zoos to see if they may be interested in giving them a good home. You might also check with local schools and ask friends.
Bottom line you have a number of options to explore in your quest to find a new home for your feathered friends, but releasing them to the wild should not be one of the them.
Question: I've recently been to a few beaches where I've found red abalone shells that have washed up on the shore. I've collected a few shell fragments and have made jewelry from them. Friends of mine have shown the items to others and now they want me to make them items as well. Is it legal for me to collect red abalone shells, and then make jewelry?
Answer: You may give the shells away or use them for personal use, but shells collected under the authority of sport fishing license cannot be legally bought, sold, traded or bartered.
People often ask what they can do with their old abalone shells. We get requests for shells from Native American tribes who use them for ceremonial purposes. Shells can be donated directly to a Native American tribe, or they can be given to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and we will distribute them to Native Americans when we get requests.
Question: I know that baiting for big game is illegal in California, but what about using deer decoys to attract deer to a certain location when deer hunting?
Answer: Yes, decoys are legal to use while deer hunting in California. However, decoys that employ any recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal call or sound are illegal to use for big game.
Question: We have a vacation house on the North Coast where we spend a lot of time ocean fishing and enjoy smoking and/or canning our fish. How can we legally transport this processed fish back to our home in the Central Valley ?
Answer: As long as you possess only the legal limit and the fish were taken legally, transporting these fish as smoked or canned is not a problem. Regardless of whether they are fresh, frozen, or otherwise preserved, no more than one possession limit may be possessed by any one person.
Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She can be contacted at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.