In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Pete Thomas Outdoors, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly California Outdoors Q&A column:
Question: I have been trying to get into the sport of bow-fishing but two issues have my parents and I a little puzzled. My dad heard that if you are going to bow-fish, you need some kind of special reel on the bow (don’t know whether it was an open face reel or a crank reel). We are also unsure what license I should use. Do we need a hunting or a fishing license to bow-fish? (Nicholas M.)
Answer: No special reels or gear are required for bowfishing by the Department of Fish and Game but you will need sport fishing licenses since you will be taking fish and not game. Be sure to check with the governing law enforcement agency for the area where you intend to fish because not all areas of the state (including various federal, state and local parks) are open to bow-fishing. Some areas prohibit using this type of fishing gear because they consider it possibly a "deadly weapon." This has been the case primarily in incorporated city areas. If fishing in freshwater, please read section 2.25 in the Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations for the list of permitted species and any special water restrictions (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 2.25).
Q: My uncle has a ranch up in northeastern California and his property has become overrun with ground squirrels. He’s worried about his calves stepping in the holes and breaking their legs. Do we need hunting licenses to help him get rid of these varmints? How can we legally help my uncle control his ground squirrel invasion problem and not get in trouble with a game warden? (Anonymous)