Question: There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding crossbow hunting in California. Are they legal for archery season? Some say only for handicapped hunters. Some say they are illegal for any game hunting whatsoever.
I know they are not considered archery equipment and therefore are not legal in place of a traditional bow during archery season. Does that include handicapped hunters? This leads me to believe they are legal for hunting during rifle season and can be used by all properly permitted hunters year-round for hogs as well as for turkey (in season) when a shotgun would be legal.
What's the minimum required bolt weight, FPS (foot-pounds per second) of energy required for game hunting? I also see there are restrictions on broadheads. Could you please clarify those restrictions? Are those 4 inch wide bladed broadheads legal for turkeys? How about ducks?
I want to hunt feral hogs and turkey with a crossbow and want to be 100 percent legal. Can I hunt hogs with a crossbow during deer-archery season? Is it legal to carry a backup pistol while hunting with a crossbow? What rules apply to handicapped hunters with crossbows and what disability is required? Mark, San Bruno
Answer: You are correct that crossbows are not considered "archery" equipment in California under hunting regulations, and they cannot be used to take game birds and game mammals during archery-only seasons. But there is an exception for holders of a Disabled Archer Permit. Disabled archers can get a permit if the hunter's ability to draw and hold a bow in a firing position is limited. This permit allows disabled archers to use a crossbow to assist in the taking of birds and mammals under the conditions of an archery tag or during archery season.
Crossbows are included as a legal method of take for turkeys and wild pigs. Persons using a crossbow for taking big game species must use broadhead-type blades that can not pass through a hole » of an inch in diameter (e.g. the blade must be larger than » inches.) This minimum size requirement also applies to crossbow bolts when used for taking big-game mammals.
It is legal to take wild pigs with a crossbow (or firearm) in an area and during a time in which another big-game species can only be taken with archery equipment.
Go to DFG's License and Revenue Branch Web site http://dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ for information on Disabled Archers Permits.
Fish and Game regulations do not specify the maximum or minimum required bolt weight or FPS. Even if your dad is hunting with a crossbow under a Disabled Archer Permit during the archer-only deer season, it is not legal to carry a backup pistol during this period.
Q: The Fresh Water Sport Fishing regulations (section 2.30) says that spearfishing is not allowed in a "designated salmon spawning area." But I can't find anywhere what "designated salmon spawning area" means. How do I know if a particular area is a "designated salmon spawning area"? Frank S.
A: This is a lengthy list, too long for this column, but can be found in the Fish and Game Code under section 1505. Go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html; check the Fish and Game Code box and Type in 1505 in the keyword box at the bottom, and hit the search button.
Q: A friend of mine is moving and asked me to help find new homes for their collection of large taxidermy mounts. There is a greater kudu and a cape buffalo. Is it legal to sell them in California? Katie Y.
A: Yes, the sale of these African mounts is not prohibited by California Fish and Game laws. However, the sale of birds or mammals found in the wild in California is prohibited (FGC, section 3039).
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.