Question: My parents have 370 acres of land in the Blue Lakes area. We have harvested a few feral hogs and I am thinking about trying to start a guide service. What steps do I need to take to become a guide? Also, are we required to purchase licenses and tags to hunt on our family's private property, or is it only required for federal and public land? I have been buying hunting licenses and tags to hunt on public land, but I was told we didn't need to on our land.
Answer: Yes, landowners must purchase licenses and tags to hunt on their own property.
And regarding your question about a hunting guide license, "guide" means any person who is engaged in the business of packing or guiding, or who, for compensation, assists another person in taking or attempting to take any bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile. "Guide" also includes any person who, for profit, transports other persons, their equipment, or both to or from hunting or fishing areas.
The basic requirements are to fill out the Department of Fish and Game guide license application and pay the license fees. The current cost for an annual resident guide's license is $204.97.
Guides must not have any DFG violations in the two years preceding their application. A prospective guide with DFG-related violations may have his or her application denied and licensed guides with violations may have their licenses revoked.
A guide must also purchase and maintain a "performance bond." The bond is to protect the clients and assure that any deposit a guide receives from a client will be returned to the client if the guide cancels and tries to keep the deposit.
Q: I am interested in hunting doves, pigeons, turkey, deer and-or ducks. I see that some states allow hunters to use decoys to lure in their game and would like to know what's okay and what's not. How do you know which are legal to use?
A: Wildlife decoys are generally legal to use in California. There are restrictions for motorized spinning wing decoys for waterfowl during the first portion of each waterfowl season. Please see CCR Title 14 section 507(c) in the waterfowl hunting regulations.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Please contact her at email@example.com.