New Elk Hunt Proposed

Plus Other Recommendations
by California DFG

A new north coast elk hunt, a later opening for Siskiyou County's deer zone X1 and the elimination of the bear tag sales quota are among the Department of Fish and Game's proposed mammal hunting regulation changes that would affect north state hunters, according to DFG's Region 1 office.

DFG plans to submit the recommendations — along with suggestions for blending hunting opportunities in west-slope Sierra deer zones D3 through D5 and providing one elk tag for large land holdings within elk hunting boundaries — to the state Fish and Game Commission when it meets February 4th in Long Beach.

Public proposals also must meet the February deadline to be considered for adoption by the commission in April. The new regulations will cover mammal hunting and trapping rules from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2002.

DFG's Redding office said proposals would add a third north coast elk hunt — dubbed the Big Lagoon Roosevelt elk hunt — on lands owned by Simpson Timber Company. The August 30-September 8 hunt would offer 25 either-sex tags.

Simpson already hosts the special Del Norte hunt northeast of Crescent City and last year's new addition, the Klamath River Roosevelt elk hunt. For staffing purposes, the DFG said, it is recommending that the Klamath and Big Lagoon hunts have the same season dates, but different from the Del Norte hunt.

DFG said its only suggestion that would affect north state deer seasons in 2000 and 2001 calls for returning the rifle and archery dates for Siskiyou County's zone X1 to those of other northeastern California "X" zones. That would mean an opening date of the first Saturday in October for rifle season.

No other changes in Region 1 deer seasons are recommended, the DFG said. The department will submit deer and pronghorn antelope hunting tag quota suggestions after biologists complete winter and spring herd surveys, according to the agency.

After several years of working under quotas on both the sale of bear hunting tags and the actual bear kill, the DFG is recommending that the quota on the sale of bear tags — set at 18,000 last year — be dropped. The kill quota — which triggers the announced closure of the season when the reported kill hits 1,500 — provides all the control that is needed for the annual hunt, the agency said.

Hunters who purchase a D3, D4 or D5 deer tag next fall would be permitted to hunt during open seasons in any of the three zones, according to another Fish and Game proposal. Yet another would permit landowners with 1,000 acres or more in elk country to receive a single elk hunting tag for their property during any authorized elk hunt zone that encompasses their land.

A similar program already exists for landowners whose property supports deer. Landowners eligible for a deer tag now would be expanded to include corporate owners, according to a suggested modification of the program.

In central and southern California, the DFG wants to add a new desert, or Nelson, bighorn sheep hunt and expand the existing Marble Mountains sheep hunt area.

In the area of special archery/muzzle-loading rifle hunts for big game, the DFG is asking the commission to require that tag holders may possess a muzzle-loader only with iron sights.

Several changes in the "additional" deer hunts category in central and southern California are proposed. They involve Fort Hunter Liggett, Camp Pendleton, Vandenberg Air Force Base, the Sutter-Yuba Wildlife Areas, Little Dry Creek and the Los Angeles, Riverside and Anderson Flat deer hunts.

Two other proposals would modify boundaries of additional hunts G13 and M6 and the boundaries of archery hunts A22, A23, and A31.

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