Author Topic: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California  (Read 152 times)

steveoh

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Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« on: October 03, 2018, 10:14:05 AM »
Yeah, I can be a bit noisy, but sometimes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

In California we are allowed to hunt small game, some upland birds including Turkeys, and Coyotes. We are also allowed to hunt exotic feral sheep, and deer. We are NOT allowed to hunt deer or pigs with airguns. I find it fascinating that Pigs are considered an introduced feral species, but here are considered Game.  Strange. The laws are outdated. Time to change, time to petition. When you guys get a chance send an email, and do it on a regular basis.

http://www.fgc.ca.gov/public/information/petitionforregulatorychange.aspx

Attend a Commission Meeting and voice your desires: http://www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/

Email: fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Snail Mail: California Fish and Game Commission, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Via delivery to: California Fish and Game Commission, 1416 Ninth Street, Room 1320, Sacramento, CA 95814

On the page is a petition form in .docx that is required for filing a petition. I reckon we need to form an Airgun Hunting Group for changing the laws.

Gotta be an easy way to set up an online form, for folks to fill out.  I'll see if I can't work on that.  It's crazy in 2018 that California Fish and Wildlife has not put this document on the web as a form. Byzantine.


https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/index?__lrTS=20181003171632196&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 10:27:43 AM by steveoh »


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Alan

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 10:37:05 AM »
Good luck! You're dealing with Brownism, if you get my double entendre.
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Steelhead

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 07:28:41 PM »
For the sake of good discussion, what would or should be the parameters for big game air rifles for ethics and legality? I'm not certain but I think California stipulates .22 or larger for turkey. What caliber/fpe restrictions should we have for big game? Would there be different classifications for different species? Pig, blacktail, muley, elk? Different zones? IMO we need to have a reasonable plan to present and that might take some discussion and solidarity.

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 05:08:32 AM »
Kevin, I've thought about this very subject (airgun hunting ethics) several times in the past few days.

A part of the argument in favor of airguns, centers around the softness of the projectile; vis-a-vis pellets vs. bullets. I'm not so sure that position is valid, especially if we consider muzzleloading firearms shooting non sabot, soft-lead bullets. And I don't think accuracy issues are valid either. I suppose you could argue about the distance we normally shoot at, and the inherent lethality therein. However, we're dealing with the ethos of a political system which reeks with coercive utopianism. As a result, valid arguments become invalid ones, just because!
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steveoh

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 08:53:19 AM »
353. Methods Authorized for Taking Big Game.
(a) It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take big game in violation of this section or Section 250.1. The take or attempted take of any big game (as defined by Section 350 of these regulations) with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 2501. of these regulations.
(b) Definition. For purposes of this section, a projectile is any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot or other device which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force. The following definitions shall apply:
(1) A softnose or expanding projectile is a bullet designed to increase from its original diameter, commonly referred to as "mushrooming", and retain a significant part of its original weight upon impact with, or when passing through the tissues of an animal.
(2) Projectiles commonly referred to as "frangible" bullets, designed to disintegrate upon impact with, or when passing through the tissues of an animal are not softnose or expanding projectiles.
(c) Except for the provisions of the following subsections (d) through (j), big game may only be taken by rifles using centerfire cartridges with softnose or expanding projectiles; bow and arrow (see Section 354 of these regulations for archery equipment regulations); or wheellock, matchlock, flintlock or percussion type, including "in-line" muzzleloading rifles using black powder or equivalent black powder substitute, including pellets, with a single projectile loaded from the muzzle and at least .40 caliber in designation
(d) Shotguns capable of holding not more than three shells firing single slugs may be used for the taking of deer, bear and wild pigs. In areas where the discharge of rifles or shotguns with slugs is prohibited by county ordinance, shotguns capable of holding not more than three shells firing size 0 or 00 buckshot may be used for the taking of deer only.

 (e)Pistols and revolvers using centerfire cartridges with softnose or expanding projectiles may be used to take deer, bear, and wild pigs.
(f) Pistols and revolvers with minimum barrel lengths of 4 inches, using centerfire cartridges with softnose or expanding projectiles may be used to take elk and bighorn sheep.

(g) Except as provided in subsection 354(j), crossbows may be used to take deer and wild pigs only during the regular seasons.
(h) Under the provisions of a muzzleloading rifle only tag, hunters may only possess muzzleloading rifles as described in subsection 353(a) equipped with open or "peep" type sights only except as described in subsection 353(k).
(i) Under the provisions of a muzzleloading rifle/archery tag, hunters may only possess muzzleloading rifles with sights as described in subsection 353(f); archery equipment as described in Section 354; or both. For purposes of this subsection, archery equipment does not include crossbows, except as provided in subsection 354(j).
(j) Except as otherwise provided, while taking or attempting to take big game under the provisions of this section or Section 354 of these regulations, it is unlawful to use any device or devices which: 1) throw, cast or project an artificial light or electronically alter or intensify a light source for the purpose of visibly enhancing an animal; or 2) throw, cast or project an artificial light or electronically alter or intensify a light source for the purpose of providing a visible point of aim directly on an animal. Devices commonly referred to as "sniperscopes", night vision scopes or binoculars, or those utilizing infra-red, heat sensing or other non-visible spectrum light technology used for the purpose of visibly enhancing an animal or providing a visible point of aim directly on an animal are prohibited and may not be possessed while taking or attempting to take big game. Devices commonly referred to as laser rangefinders, “red-dot” scopes with self-illuminating reticles, and fiberoptic sights with self-illuminating sight or pins which do not throw, cast or project a visible light onto an animal are permitted.
(k) Unless provided in these regulations or any other law, it is unlawful to possess a loaded muzzleloading firearm in any vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or along or is being driven on or along any public road or highway or other way open to the public. For the purposes of this section, a muzzleloading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed or has an electronic or other ignition device attached and has a powder charge and projectile or shot in the barrel or cylinder.
(l)Upon application to the department, the department may issue a Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit, free of any charge or fee, to any person with a physical disability, as defined in subsection (m), which prevents him/her from being able to focus on the target utilizing muzzleloading rifles equipped with open or “peep” sights. The Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit authorizes the disabled hunter to use a 1X scope on a muzzleloading rifle, as described in subsection (h), with a muzzleloading rifle only tag.
(1) Applications for a Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit,as specified in Section 702 of these regulations shall be submitted to the department at the address specified on the application and shall include:
(A) Applicant's name
(B) Applicant's physical address
(C) Applicant's date of birth
(D) Applicant's Driver's License or DMV Number
(E) Applicant's telephone number
(F) Applicant's signature
(G) Medical Physician's or Optometrist’s name
(H) Medical Physician's or Optometrist’s business address
(I) Medical Physician's or Optometrist’s business telephone number
(J) Medical Physician's State medical license number or Optometrist’s State license number
(K) A description of the visual disability requiring this permit
(L) Medical Physician's or Optometrist’s signature
(M) Signature of the authorizing department employee and date issued
(2) The applicant must have a valid hunting license for the year for which he/she is applying.
(3) Proof of meeting eligibility requirements may be met by providing a previously issued Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit.
(4) The valid Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit shall be in the hunter’s immediate possession while hunting and shall be shown on demand to any person authorized to enforce this regulation.
(5) The Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit is valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year or if issued after July 1 of the license year, it is valid beginning on the date issued through to the following June 30.
(m) For the purposes of this section a visual disability means a permanent loss, significant limitation, or diagnosed disease or disorder, which substantially impairs the vision of a hunter, preventing the hunter from viewing and aligning the sights of a muzzleloading rifle with the target in order to hunt deer.
Amendment filed 7/27/2016; effective 7/27/2016.

§354. Archery Equipment and Crossbow Regulations.
(a) Bow, as used in these regulations, means any device consisting of a flexible material having a string connecting its two ends and used to propel an arrow held in a firing position by hand only. Bow, includes long bow, recurve or compound bow.
(b) Crossbow, as used in these regulations means any device consisting of a bow or cured latex band or other flexible material (commonly referred to as a linear bow) affixed to a stock, or any bow that utilizes any device attached directly or indirectly to the bow for the purpose of keeping a crossbow bolt, an arrow or the string in a firing position. Except as provided in subsection 354(j), a crossbow is not archery equipment and cannot be used during the archery deer season.
(c) For the taking of big game, hunting arrows and crossbow bolts with a broad head type blade which will not pass through a hole seven-eighths inch in diameter shall be used. Mechanical/retractable broad heads shall be measured in the open position. For the taking of migratory game birds, resident small game, furbearers and nongame mammals and birds any arrow or crossbow bolt may be used except as prohibited by subsection (d) below. Notwithstanding the general prohibition of the use of lights in Fish and Game Code section 2005, arrows or crossbow bolts with lighted nocks that do not emit a directional beam of light may be used.
(d) No arrows or crossbow bolt with an explosive head or with any substance which would tranquilize or poison any animal may be used. No arrows or crossbow bolt without flu-flu fletching may be used for the take of pheasants and migratory game birds, except for provisions of section 507(a)(2).
(e) No arrow or crossbow bolt may be released from a bow or crossbow upon or across any highway, road or other way open to vehicular traffic.
(f) No bow or crossbow may be used which will not cast a legal hunting arrow, except flu-flu arrows, a horizontal distance of 130 yards.
(g) Except as described in subsection 354(j), crossbows may not be used to take game birds and game mammals during archery seasons.
(h) Except as provided in subsection 353(g) of these regulations and in Section 4370 of the Fish and Game Code, archers may not possess a firearm while hunting in the field during any archery season, or while hunting during a general season under the provisions of an archery only tag.
(i) No person may nock or fit the notch in the end of an arrow to a bowstring or crossbow string in a ready-to-fire position while in or on any vehicle.
(j) Upon application to the department, the department may issue a Disabled Archer Permit free of any charge or fee, to any person with a physical disability, as defined in 354(k), which prevents him/her from being able to draw and hold a bow in a firing position. The Disabled Archer Permit authorizes the disabled archer to use a crossbow or device which holds a string and arrow in the firing position to assist in the taking of birds and mammals under the conditions of an archery tag or during archery season.
(1) Applications for a Disabled Archer Permit as specified in Section 702 shall be submitted to the department at the address specified on the application and shall include:
(A) Applicant’s name
(B) Applicant’s physical address
(C) Applicant’s date of birth
(D) Applicant’s Driver’s License or DMV Number
(E) Applicant’s telephone number
(F) Applicant’s signature
(G) Medical Physician’s name
(H) Medical Physician’s business address
(I) Medical Physician’s business telephone number
(J) Medical Physician’s State medical license number
(K) A description of the disabled archer’s disability. The physician shall designate if the disability is permanent or temporary. If the disability is temporary, shall provide date the disability is expected to end.
(L) Medical Physician’s signature
(M) Signature of the authorizing department employee and date issued
(2) Proof of meeting eligibility requirements may be met by providing a previously issued Disabled Archer Permit when the disability is still in effect.
(3) The valid Disabled Archer Permit shall be in the archer’s immediate possession while hunting and shall be shown on demand to any person authorized to enforce this regulation.
(4) The Disabled Archer Permit is valid beginning July 1 through June 30 of the following year or if issued after July 1 of the license year, it is valid beginning on the date issued through to the following June 30. For any person with a permanent disability, the permit is valid through the end of the license year. A Disabled Archer Permit for a permit holder with a temporary disability that ends prior to the end of the license year is valid only through the date specified by his/her physician.
(k) For the purposes of this section a physical disability means, a person having a permanent loss, significant limitation, or diagnosed disease or disorder, which substantially impairs one or both upper extremities preventing a hunter to draw and hold a bow in a firing position.
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steveoh

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2018, 09:45:51 AM »
I think the answer is plain and clear in terms of what is legal, and ethical. California Fish and Game already has in place a list of firearms and archery equipment that is legal, and presumably ethical. Primitive black powder rifles of a minimum .40 caliber are legal for taking big game, as are center fire pistols and revolvers having a 4" minimum barrel. There is no mention of a minimal caliber for centerfire handguns. I'd be willing to bet that Kevin's .308 and any of my three DAQs in .458 and .58 have the knockdown and penetrating power to ethically kill any big game in California. If you can hunt Elk with a handgun, I think it should be legal to do so with a big bore airgun.

What minimal power? What minimal caliber? I don't know. What I do know is it is highly dependent on the hunter. Take Manny the pig hunter over at GTA who has made it a challenge to hunt wild pigs with just about any airgun at his disposal. He has hunted successfully with everything from .50 pcp to a .22 break barrel. For him it's all about being up close and personal and using his marksmanship skills to precisely place a pellet or bullet in the brain of small to large pigs and to do it almost every single time. The pig falls over dead. He also doesn't take questionable shots, and is infinitely patient to wait for the perfect shot. If the pig doesn't present the perfect opportunity, Manny stands down.  That is ethics.

On the other hand a buddy in Virginia is an avid deer hunter. He bow hunts, hunts with black powder and high power centerfire rifles. Just this past season he killed a deer that had been previously shot by another hunter and had a broken leg. He also came across another deer with it's lower jaw shot off.  So much for ethics or being able to hit the side of a barn.





Quote
For the sake of good discussion, what would or should be the parameters for big game air rifles for ethics and legality? I'm not certain but I think California stipulates .22 or larger for turkey. What caliber/fpe restrictions should we have for big game? Would there be different classifications for different species? Pig, blacktail, muley, elk? Different zones? IMO we need to have a reasonable plan to present and that might take some discussion and solidarity.
  • Benicia, California
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Crosman 1322
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Steelhead

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 05:51:43 PM »
You pretty much summed it up. I was playing devil's advocate, but we all have different levels of acceptance. I don't black powder or bow hunt so I'll admit that never read the reg's that closely for big game. That being said, I think the caliber/rating system is important. I would feel better about taking a deer using a slug with my .308 Texan than I would a .30 Flex for example. Technically both are .30 cal. I'm not sure if a Benjamin Bulldog is deer-worthy gun either, and that's .35 cal. 

This is where I think it's important to discuss what is ethical, reasonable, and makes a valid case. I'm not biased; If CA made it .40 cal of larger for airguns/big game I would be in full support. I'll admit that there is valid argument that the .308 Texan may be considered too small. If a .35 blackpowder isn't valid it's pretty hard to justify the airgun under the current reg's. It's a slippery slope telling a .308 slug shooter or a .357 pellet shooter that their gun MAY not be able to take big game consistently and ethically.

My opinion is this when it comes to hunting weapons: you need a little room for error. A large broadhead cuts a big path and does a lot of damage. Same with larger caliber slugs from blackpowder. For me the same is true with airguns. I think that enough energy transfer, concussive force, bone breaking power, whatever term you want should apply. We all know that we can take big game with smaller caliber guns. They're lethal in the right hands, but that's the exception. Is FPE the answer to how an airgun should be rated for hunting legality?

 Ironically I think that any centerfire cartridge is legal to use in CA for deer. I had assumed and believed the old '.243 or bigger' rule was actually a rule, but I don't think so.

I'm glad you started this thread, Steve. It's good to get opinions and discussion going so that we present the best possible case for changes.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 06:30:12 AM by Steelhead »
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Alan

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Re: Big Bore Airgun Hunting in California
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 04:22:09 AM »
I don't hunt big game anymore, so I'm a poor one to chime in on those specific-sized animals. However, I do feel that there should be minimum calibers and/or pellet weights and/or energy ratings for small game too. For example...

It is legal in New Mexico to shoot non-game, evasive, and unprotected species, with a .177 caliber airgun. Assumedly, this includes a Benjamin 397 pump gun. I've killed pigeons with mine, but I was nearly on top of the bird when I did so. Shooting a coyote with one? I don't think so, if the word humane is in the same sentence. I've shot a bunch of coyotes with my .25 caliber Cobra, but it has nearly 8 times the muzzle energy than my 397.

I truly hope that reasonable standards will be set sometime in the future.
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

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