Question: Is it legal to hunt deer from a boat drifting down a river? If so, what are the parameters? Do you have to be a certain distance from shore? (Eric S., Redding)
Answer: The main requirement when hunting from a boat is that the boat cannot be under power or still moving as a result of power. In addition, engines must be shut off and out of the water. Once you’ve done this, the boat may be drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or propelled by paddle, oar or pole.
Aside from the requirements of using the boat as a platform, the shooter must consider what else may be around and beyond the deer. You cannot hunt or shoot a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling, or hunt on private property or within prohibited areas such as municipalities. It is important to research your specific hunting area and know legal access points. No person shall pursue, drive, herd or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat or snowmobile (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251). There may also be some Penal Code restrictions regarding loaded firearms in vehicles.
Q: My dad is handicapped and someone told him if he gets a license and abalone report card, he can then have someone else catch abalone for him and hand it to him either while he’s on a boat or once back on shore. Is this true? (Janet R., Sacramento)