Outdoors: Shipping abalone (shell and all) out of state isn't easy

Question: I read your answer to a question regarding whether trout can be shipped across state lines, and you said the answer was no. Are there similar restrictions on shipping abalone to friends in other states?

— Kelly K.

Answer: The possession limit for abalone is three, so you cannot ship more than three abalone at any time. Neither the shipper nor the recipient can ever possess more than the legal limit. You also cannot offer for transportation by common carrier more than one bag limit at a time, and the shipper transporting the abalone cannot legally receive more than the bag limit.

The abalone must be shipped whole, in the shell, with the tags still attached. Abalone can only be legally removed from the shell once they are being prepared for immediate consumption. Abalone cannot be shipped by parcel post.

To send abalone to someone out of state, you must also abide by the laws of that state. And different states have different regulations. Check with that state for their requirements before shipping.

Q: I bought all the bow fishing tackle to start bow fishing and went out to a local lake where I have seen a lot of carp. When I was putting my boat in, a park ranger stopped me and said bow fishing was illegal in our county. Is this correct? I did not see anything in the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) regulations book pertaining to this.

— Shawn C.

A: DFG does not prohibit bow fishing in certain waters, but some local jurisdictions do not allow it because the gear can be considered a weapon — raising public safety concerns. Local regulations might also prohibit bow fishing from public piers in the ocean. Bow and arrow fishing tackle is also authorized only for certain species and in certain areas.

Q: When hunting on private property behind locked gates from the nearest public road, can hunters be cited for having a loaded rifle (unexpended cartridge in chamber) in a vehicle? While I always remove the cartridge from the chamber when I get in my vehicle for safety reasons, I thought from a legal perspective a loaded gun in a vehicle was unlawful only when "on or along a highway, or other way open to the public" as specified in Section 2006 of the California Fish and Game Code. I don't plan to change my habits of unloading a cartridge from the chamber when I get into a vehicle, but I want to make sure I am reading the code properly.

— Christian K.

A: You can legally have a loaded gun in a vehicle as long as you are on private property behind locked gates with no public access. For obvious reasons, though, this practice is strongly discouraged. Many accidents have occurred due to loaded firearms in vehicles. And remember, despite the provision here allowing for a loaded gun, you are still not allowed to take an animal by discharging the firearm from a vehicle — even if you are on private property.

Q: I know it's not legal to use a dog during the archery seasons for deer and bear, but what about taking my dog out after archery deer season is closed? I have a lab that is a little gun shy and isn't much into hunting, but I do like to take him with me into the outdoors. He isn't a deer hunter of any sort and more than likely will hinder my ability to get one, but Id still like to take him deer hunting with me. May I legally take him along as a companion?

— Andrew H.

A: You are correct that you cannot have a dog in the field with you during archery season for deer and bear, but after the season closes you can take him with you. According to retired DFG Capt. Phil Nelms, using dogs to pursue or take mammals or for training the dogs is prohibited from the first Saturday in April through the day preceding the opening of the general deer season in many dog control zones. During the general deer season, one dog per hunter is allowed in the field.

Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Send questions to CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov