CA/NV Regional Biologist, Kevin Vella, giving testimony at the 8/25/16 Fish and Game Commission Meeting
The NWTF attended the California Fish and Game Commission meeting yesterday in Folsom, CA. The NWTF gave public comment on three different topics. The meeting, in it’s entirety, can be found here.
Here is a quick summary of the topics and comments given:
Authorize publication of notice to intent to adopt regulations concerning enhanced penalties for the illegal take of game (Add Section 748.6, Title 14, CCR)
This proposed regulation deals with the targeted poaching of “trophy class” game species. These species are mainly deer, bear, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep and wild turkey. Captain Patrick Foy of CDFW provided the specific definition of “trophy class” for each. These can be found in his presentation at 6:10:00 in the link for the video. Fines would range from $5,000-$40,000 for the illegal take of these trophy class big game species. Fines for the illegal take of trophy class wild turkey would range $2,000-$5,000.
The NWTF provided the following statement: “We support the recommendation to enhance the penalties for the illegal take of “trophy class” wild game. We hold a high standard to ourselves as law-abiding sportsmen and women to follow the rules and regulations put in place by this commission to scientifically manage sustainable populations of game species in this state. NWTF supports further removing incentives for all aspects of poaching in California.”
As a result, this motion passed unanimously.
Discuss proposed regulations to establish an upland game bird hunt special hunt drawing and fee (Section 702 and add Section 715, Title 14, CCR)
This proposed code would move the upland game bird “special hunt” applications over to the new ALDS system. This change would tack on a proposed fee of $5 per application. The current drawing system is outdated, and a move over to the ALDS system is highly applauded. The NWTF feels that a $5 per application is very steep for a system that has historically been free to all licensed hunters.
The NWTF gave the following statement: “We understand that there is a cost to run this program. However, we strongly urge you to consider a “reduced fee” that would mirror the waterfowl reservation system. This would help keep it affordable to sportsmen and women of all economic classes throughout the state. The $5 fee may seem nominal, but with the submission of several applications, these fees can quickly add up. This could have a negative effect on hunter recruitment and retention. It could also cause an overall decline in hunting license sales.”
The department was asked to consider a lower application fee in a future proposal to the commission, due to the testimony that was given by NWTF, California Waterfowl, and the Yuba County Fish and Game Commission.
Adopt proposed changes to upland game bird hunting regulations (Sections 300, 311, and 745.5, Title 14, CCR)
Finally, this topic proposed exclusion of field-tipped arrows as a legal method of take for hunting wild turkey. Field-tipped arrows present a very small and potentially non-lethal wound that could prolong the suffering of the turkey. Broadhead-tipped arrows offer a much quicker, cleaner and more ethical kill.
The NWTF stated: “We would like to echo our testimony from April. We support the department’s recommendation to remove field-tipped arrows as a legal method of take for hunting wild turkey. As hunters and conservationists we encourage legal methods of take that will support quick, ethical kills.”
Consequently, this motion passed unanimously.