ground squirrels...legal w/,22 in Ca?

dazco

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I thought it was ok to take G.S. year round with any arm thats legal in the area you're shooting in, but someone told me i'm wrong. But I can't seem to find out anything about the regs on ground squirrels in Ca, so i thought i'd ask here.......

1)-can you take them with rifles and pistols ?
2)-is there a season, or are they open year round?

Thanks,-Dale
 

yotegetter

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Yes you can take them with rifles and pistols. The season for ground squirrels are year round. They may have been confused with tree squirrels, which have their season.
 

jackrabbit

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dazco, i do believe there may be restrictions in some geographic areas on using .22 or other rifle/pistol bullets.  For instance, .22 is not legal in LA County for hunting rabbits, don't know about tree squirrels though.  In San Berdo County, you cannot use solid projectiles for rabbits, but you can for varmints, and I think for deer also.  Then the rules in San Berdo regarding solid projectiles don't apply on National Forest lands.  When I was living in Socal and hunting LA/San Berdo/Orange counties, I always read the fish and game rules thoroughly, and then checked the county shooting zone restrictions, and then called the DFG, Sheriff, and Forest Ranger offices to confirm my perspective on what all the rules finally meant.  Then I carried the names and phone numbers with me in the field.  You can be surprised how different guns and badges folks in the same jurisdiction can give you totally different answers, especially when you are out in the field.  It always seemed to me that the further north I went beyond the Techachapi mountains, and up the 395 highway, the rules got much more simple.
 

dazco

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Jackrabbit,

Man, you ain't kiddin !!!! I too have found that answers vary a LOT. One time a ranger told me i could shoot anywhere in the Los Padres forest as long as i was x number of feet from any building, camp,road,etc, while another  told me only in this one 1/2 square mile area !!!

What i've learned is 1)- very few police/rangers/etc, know even a fraction of the hunting/shooting laws, and 2)-many of them will lie to you just because THEY personally don't want you shooting where they'd rather you didn't, even if it's legal.

They'll often try to word it in such a way that it sounds like you can't, but without actually telling you whether it's legal or not.

For this reason i refuse to go to the extreme lengths it seems to take to be sure, thanks to the lack of, and hard to find and understand info that our gov't so unfairly doles out. They apparently consider hunter/shooter rights as not very important. Yes, i know i'll be on the losing end of the stick if i'm stopped and found to be shooting illegally, but i will take it to court and explain the incredible lack of consideration that the powers that be have for us, and that it's often next to impossible to know for sure you are legal on a given piece of land.

I have been researching hunting/shooting areas/regs for a few months now and i swear to god i probably have spent 100 hours doing this. And i have made practically no progress relitive to what i NEED to know in order to always be legal. It's just rediculous.

-Dale
 

songdog

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There are a few basic things that I've looked up and have no problem correcting the appropriate badge when they get it incorrect (you're absolutely right that some will say that you can't when you can just because they don't like what you're doing on a personal basis).

One, you can hunt anywhere in any Nat'l Forest for legal game in season with the appropriate license so long as a.) it's not explicitly posted otherwise or b.) it's within a variable distance from a building, county maintained road or campground (normally 150 feet but up to 1/4 mile in the case of dwellings and campgrounds).

It's important to realize that there's a difference between "hunt" and "shoot".  It's not ok to pull over in the Nat'l Forest and set up your targets and start shooting.  In fact, just the opposite.  It must be specifically stated as a "shooting area".  Check out a forest service map and you'll see only a handful in SoCal.

BLM land is also the same as Nat'l Forest.  You may hunt anywhere on BLM land so long as it's not explicitly posted otherwise and the same restriction about dwellings, camps and roads applies.  The one difference here is that you can also shoot (target) on BLM lands unlike Nat'l Forest.  There are some areas that are posted otherwise but they must be posted.

I was out at the Carrizo a few weeks back and had a biologist come up and talk to us.  She wasn't happy about us shooting squirrels but we're were perfectly legal (except where our truck was parked but that's a different story).  We asked her about target shoting but she said it was not allowed.  Actually, she kind of beat around the bush, hummed and hawed, etc. and kind of said that but never came flat out and said "there is no target shooting in the BLM parcel"... which is good that she didn't because it is legal.

The couple of times that I've had the local sheriff come up and ask me what's up when I've been out hunting, I've been very polite but also very confident that what I'm doing is right.  I had one come up and pretty much exclaim "What do you think you're doing!".  To which I replied, "I'm hunting fox in season here in the Nat'l Forest, well over half a mile from the nearest road or dwelling, with a legal firearm and my hunting license and my Forest Service Adventure Pass hanging in my truck window there.  Would you like to see the map of the area, the hunting regs or my license?  I have them all right here."  He kind of apologized and said that they'd received a call from someone that said that someone was up shooting animals and they didn't that that was right.  I was very polite but not about to take any guff.
 

dazco

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That is just soooooooooooo wrong !!! When you are legal, for a cop of any kind to come up to you and ask you what's up is bad enough. But when they exclaim "what do you think you are doing?.....I just don't know that i could keep my cool, especially if i have all the maps and info as you said.

People like that need to find another job.........in perticular, something they have enough intelligence to handle !!

You could say this is a pet peeve of mine, but then you'd have made the worlds biggest understatement !

-Dale
 

songdog

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All that to say that it really does pay to keep a map and a copy of the regs in your truck/bag...
 

dazco

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Yup. But i have another question........while it is legal to hunt in a NF, isn't that only with a shotgun ? I thought you couldn't use a pistol or rifle except for big game. I'm probably wrong, but i figured you'd likely know.

-Dale
 

songdog

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No rifle or shotgun is ok in the Nat'l Forest.  There are some areas that are shotgun only but most of them are <not> in the Nat'l Forest.  Most of the Antelope Valley from Landcaster to Gorman is shotgun only in the base of the valley for example.  You can get the firearms closure map that color codes all the areas (I keep one of these in the truck too).  You can normally tell where by the proximity of houses too.
 

Kernhuntr

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It's not only Sheriffs, BLM, or Forest Service guys. It is also Fish and Game guys. A few that I've run into don't know squat about there own job. There is one here in Kern that is a total jerk. He tried to bust a friend of mine on a pig hunt at Tejon in December for poaching. He had a loaded gun buried in the back of my truck when we were stopped. The people at Tejon told us to wack as many yotes as we felt like. The F&G guy tried to nail him for poaching and TRESSPASSING, even though we had all of our permits for the ranch. His thought was he'd shot his pig so now he was poaching. He told me to my face that nobody hunts yotes with a .300 win mag, He's never heard of hunting with anything but a .243 or 22.250. That's when I went off. We ended up calling his supervisor and lodging a complaint.
The last trip in Feb. the same jerk busted a guy and his 16 yr old son for spotlighting and took there guns and hunting gear on the first day of the hunt. They were parked at a gate when a guy behind them said something blew out of there truck on the way down the canyon. They walked back a couple hundred yards or so with flashlights trying to locate what blew out, leaving there guns in the truck!!! The jerk busted them and ruined a $600.00 dollar hunt for them. It's this type of attitude that just pisses me off to no end.
Sorry if I rambled on this one , but I'm still pissed at that guy.
Kernhuntr
 

dazco

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I don't even know him and i'm pissed at him !! He needs to be working at a jack-in-the-box, not in law enforcement !
 

songdog

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Does Tejon have any say whether the fish cop can come on to their private land?  I would assume that he could in one sense but in another, there's no way that he could/should have a key to the gate and just drive around the ranch at his leisure "doing his job".  I'm assuming he had to have the permission of Tejon unless he had substantial reason to believe that something wrong was being done.

Another one of those lawyer quesitons...
 

Kernhuntr

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My understanding is they have a joint game managment policy which give the fish cop access to the ranch. These are not the only instances of abuse with this caracter, he is rapidly becoming famous around here in places besides Tejon.
Kernhuntr
 

bubba

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I had a similar expereince up here on a PRIVATE ranch when I shot my buck.  Appararently, some antihunters who live near the ranch reported that we were shooting at their house.(We were on the opposite end of the ranch about a mile away. Shooting away from any dwellings)  We've been really careful about not getting close to or shooting towards any dwellings.  We strictly follow the thumbrule of knowing that there is a backstop to stop any bullets that miss their (or pass through) their intended marks.  Anyway, the DFG guy shows up and automatically assumes we are poaching/trespassing, not giving us a chacne to prove otherwise.  Takes our weapons and does not allow us to tag or dress the buck I shot for about an hour.  Luckily it was still early in the morning and no meat spoiled.  The owner of the proeprty happened to show up and took th ekey away from the DFG guy when he found out what happened and commented that if he new that DFG was going to harass people in that manner, he would not have allowed them access.  It really pissed us off when we are out there following all the rules with th eutmost ethics and we get harassed.  To top it off, it happened to us twice.  The other incident was with a Fish  and Wildlife Service guy at Kesterson.  He thought I was hiding shells because he could only find 24.  Of course I had to strip and we were not able to set up properly for the morning shoot.
 

Sidekick

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I also have to agree with songdog. Verify that what hunting activity you are doing is lawful. I liked his exchange with the Sheriff deputy. I made a copy of it for future reference.
 

songdog

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One thing that probably should be said in the midst of all of this...

As much as we all hate being presumed guilty by the various forms of fish cops out there when we're good, upstanding, honest folks, I'm sure that there are several fish cops that are legit good folks as well and have to put up with the same chip on the shoulder attitude from us that we do from them.  We should give them the same benefit of the doubt we expect from them.

It would be nice if there were some way to tell the good from the bad very quickly.  Maybe this is why dogs sniff each others back sides when they first meet?????
 

dazco

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That may be true, but thats the nature of thier job and they should either be able to deal with it correctly or quit. Imagine how many pissed off people phone solicitors have to deal with. If you can't handle the job, quit!! Thats my problem with them.
I do  MY job, and if i were fired for not doing it i would be bummed, but i'd know it's my fault. So i do it correctly.
These people are going WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too far. Whether or not they have to take crap from people is a moot point as far as i'm concerned. I pay my licence fees to obtain a perticular right, and with actions as these they are taking the right i payed for away. That is theft as far as i'm concerned, and just the opposite of what you would expect from a "law enforcement officer".

In any other area of life, actions like this would not be tolerated, and in fact it would be considered an outrage. The public would be informed on the news and action would be taken under the watchfull eye of the public thru the media. But because everyone but hunters hate hunters, and because there are relitivly few of us, it goes unnoticed.

I will surely, especially after reading this thread,  take action next time anything along these lines happens to me. It may be as little as a few emails to gov't officials, but i WILL make some kind of effort. And i now plan to find at any cost, all the maps and info i can find no matter how long it takes. Then the next time this happens i will tell the offending imbecile exactly where he's wrong and ask him to learn the law so people like me can enjoy our RIGHT to hunt as we paid for it. Hell, our damn licences pay those fish and game employees !!!

OK, now i'm really pissed !!! *S*

-Dale

-Dale
 

Cynic

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I think we need to keep in mind that when the DFG or Forestry service people make a 'routine' stop, they KNOW that the people they're approaching are armed. And not just armed, but looking for something to shoot and kill.

On top of that, most (or at least a great many) stops for DFG-type officers are going to be in remote areas. Most of us have serious concerns about bumping into unsavory characters while we're out hunting.

How many poachers do DFG-types bump into out in the middle of nowhere, armed only with a service pistol? Against one or more criminals with rifles? Who would want to walk up to a pair of poachers who SEEM to be just normal people while the third poacher, unseen, in full camo, is looking at you through the scope of his rifle?

Doing that... day in and day out... would make ANYONE edgy and nervous.

I'm not excusing the behavior of certain DFG officers. But it might be easier to deal with these guys if we can understand how things look on their end of the spectrum.
 

Kernhuntr

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Cynic, again that is the job they signed on to do. I have been on both sides of the fence and know how edgey you can get making a stop. It's complacency that will get you hurt in that job. Once you have a reasonable certianty that you are safe and the stop is in the safe mode, you do not then start harrasing the detainee. That is just bad procedure. This is the kind of behavior that I complain about. When I'm stopped by any LEO I'm very respectful, regardless of the reason for the stop. I expect the same treatment from the officer as I show him or her. To be treated like a criminal and shown no respect with no justifaction is BAD law enforcement work. I understand that they are human and have bad days, maybe a fight with the wife or other personal problems that sometimes you can't leave home, but don't bring it with you to work day after day. It's not good for them or the public in general. And if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

Songdog, you are right on the money. I have ran into lots of good ones. But it seem ever increasing that I see more of the opposite, usually ones that have a badge that runs from one side of there chest to the other. Like any other business the badge will shrink with a little more time on the job, and they will see things from a different perspective.
Kernhuntr

(Edited by Kernhuntr at 9:07 pm on Mar. 3, 2002)
 
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