Bear hunters planning to hunt for bear on the first day of the season must plan ahead this year.
Because of state furloughs, the California Department of Fish and Game offices will be closed on the second, third and fourth Fridays of the month.
Bear tags for the 2010 season must be purchased before 5 p.m. on Aug. 12 in order to hunt on the Aug. 14 A-zone general bear season opener. Hunters who wait to buy their tags until the day before the opener will find the offices closed, and tags will be unavailable until Monday.
The 2010 statewide archery bear season starts Aug. 21 and will run for three weeks, closing Sept. 21. The general season for black bears opens concurrently with the general deer hunting seasons in deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12. In the remaining deer zones, the general bear season will open Oct. 9, and all general bear seasons will end Dec. 26. The department will close the season if 1,700 bears have been reported taken statewide.
California residents must have both a resident hunting license and a valid bear tag in order to hunt bear in any zone. Cost for a resident hunting license is $41.50, and a bear tag costs $40.70 for residents. Non-residents must pay $245.75 for tags. Tags must be purchased at a DFG office, and a list of office can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/officelocation.html.-- Carol Reiter