Question: My neighbor who lives a few houses down from me has a 15-year-old son who shoots his BB gun in his backyard. I used to shoot my bow in my backyard until my dad found out it’s illegal. I am 13 and live in the mountains of Southern California (close to San Bernardino) and am hoping it might be legal to practice my archery by shooting down a dirt road? Can you please let me know ASAP? Thanks. (Ashmanger)
Answer: Generally, Fish and Game Code laws only regulate the use of archery equipment or firearms while hunting. However, the same rules for firearms apply to archery equipment in this situation – you may not shoot over or across a road or within 150 yards of a neighbor’s home, barns or outbuildings, even if just archery target shooting (Fish and Game Code, section 3004). If you are on a private road on private property (off the public roadway), no Fish and Game Code law prohibits target practice with your bow and arrow. Beyond this, different counties and communities may have more restrictive ordinances that they enforce so you should check with your local law enforcement office for this information.
The most important factor to always keep in mind is public safety. Well-traveled roads and highways, or even those occasionally traveled, are not appropriate places to shoot. If you were to injure another person or livestock, or damage property, you could be subject to civil and possibly criminal prosecution. While shooting even just off a road may be legal, it may not be safe.
Q: When fishing for salmon from the bank in the San Francisco Bay with spinning lures, is a single barbless hook ok or does it have to be a barbless circle hook attached to the spinning lure? (Terry D.)
A: Barbless circle hooks are only required when fishing with bait and angling by any means other than trolling. Since you’re not using bait, no circle hooks are required, even though you are not trolling. You must be doing both things – using bait, and fishing in a manner that is not trolling – to be required to use barbless circle hooks. In addition, you should be using no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks with your spinning lure (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.80.)
Q: I have heard that using WD-40 as a fish attractant works well. Is it legal to use? There seems to be much confusion as to what is actually in WD-40. I would also like to know if the sunscreen I put on before entering the water is hazardous to marine life. (Ray I.)