It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to encourage the preservation, conservation, and maintenance of wildlife resources under the jurisdiction and influence of the state. This policy shall include the following objectives:
To maintain sufficient populations of all species of wildlife and the habitat necessary to achieve the objectives stated in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d).
To provide for the beneficial use and enjoyment of wildlife by all citizens of the state.
To perpetuate all species of wildlife for their intrinsic and ecological values, as well as for their direct benefits to all persons.
To provide for aesthetic, educational, and nonappropriative uses of the various wildlife species.
To maintain diversified recreational uses of wildlife, including the sport of hunting, as proper uses of certain designated species of wildlife, subject to regulations consistent with the maintenance of healthy, viable wildlife resources, the public safety, and a quality outdoor experience.
To provide for economic contributions to the citizens of the state, through the recognition that wildlife is a renewable resource of the land by which economic return can accrue to the citizens of the state, individually and collectively, through regulated management. Such management shall be consistent with the maintenance of healthy and thriving wildlife resources and the public ownership status of the wildlife resources.
To alleviate economic losses or public health or safety problems caused by wildlife to the people of the state either individually or collectively. Such resolution shall be in a manner designed to bring the problem within tolerable limits consistent with economic and public health considerations and the objectives stated in subdivisions (a), (b) and (c).
It is not intended that this policy shall provide any power to regulate natural resources or commercial or other activities connected therewith, except as specifically provided by the Legislature.
The department has jurisdiction over the conservation, protection, and management of fish, wildlife, native plants, and habitat necessary for biologically sustainable populations of those species. The department, as trustee for fish and wildlife resources, shall consult with lead and responsible agencies and shall provide, as available, the requisite biological expertise to review and comment upon environmental documents and impacts arising from project activities, as those terms are used in the California Environmental Protection Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
Except as provided in Section 4181.1, any owner or tenant of land or property that is being damaged or destroyed or is in danger of being damaged or destroyed by elk, bear, beaver, wild pig, or gray squirrels, may apply to the department for a permit to kill the mammals. The department, upon satisfactory evidence of the damage or destruction, actual or immediately threatened, shall issue a revocable permit for the taking and disposition of the mammals under regulations adopted by the commission. The permit shall include a statement of the penalties that may be imposed for a violation of the permit conditions. Mammals so taken shall not be sold or shipped from the premises on which they are taken except under instructions from the department. No iron-jawed or steel-jawed or any type of metal-jawed trap shall be used to take any bear pursuant to this section. No poison of any type may be used to take any gray squirrel pursuant to this section. The department shall designate the type of trap to be used to insure the most humane method is used to trap gray squirrels. The department may require trapped squirrels to be released in parks or other nonagricultural areas. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate the terms of any permit issued under this section.
The permit issued for taking bears pursuant to subdivision (a) shall contain the following facts:
Why the issuance of the permit was necessary.
What efforts were made to solve the problem without killing the bears.
What corrective actions should be implemented to prevent reoccurrence.
With respect to wild pigs, the department shall provide an applicant for a depredation permit to take wild pigs or a person who reports taking wild pigs pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4181.1 with written information that sets forth available options for wild pig control, including, but not limited to, depredation permits, allowing periodic access to licensed hunters, and holding special hunts authorized pursuant to Section 4188. The department may maintain and make available to these persons lists of licensed hunters interested in wild pig hunting and lists of nonprofit organizations that are available to take possession of depredating wild pig carcasses.
Any bear that is encountered while in the act of inflicting injury to, molesting, or killing, livestock may be taken immediately by the owner of the livestock or the owner's employee if the taking is reported no later than the next working day to the department and the carcass is made available to the department.
Notwithstanding Section 4652, any wild pig that is encountered while in the act of inflicting injury to, molesting, pursuing, worrying, or killing livestock or damaging or destroying, or threatening to immediately damage or destroy, land or other property, including, but not limited to, rare, threatened, or endangered native plants, wildlife, or aquatic species, may be taken immediately by the owner of the livestock, land, or property or the owner's agent or employee, or by an agent or employee of any federal, state, county, or city entity when acting in his or her official capacity. The person taking the wild pig shall report the taking no later than the next working day to the department and shall make the carcass available to the department. Unless otherwise directed by the department and notwithstanding Section 4657, the person taking a wild pig pursuant to this subdivision, or to whom the carcass of a wild pig taken pursuant to this subdivision is transferred pursuant to subdivision (c) may possess the carcass of the wild pig. The person in possession of the carcass shall make use of the carcass, which may include an arrangement for the transfer of the carcass to another person or entity, such as a nonprofit organization, without compensation. The person who arranges this transfer shall be deemed to be in compliance with Section 4304. A violation of this subdivision is punishable pursuant to Section 12000. It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to authorize a person to take wild pigs pursuant to this subdivision in violation of a state statute or regulation or a local zoning or other ordinance that is adopted pursuant to other provisions of law and that restricts the discharge of firearms.
The department shall make a record of each report made pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and may have an employee of the department investigate the taking or cause the taking to be investigated. The person taking a wild pig shall provide information as deemed necessary by the department. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator may, upon a finding that the requirements of this section have been met with respect to the particular bear or wild pig taken under subdivision (a) or (b), issue a written statement to the person confirming that the requirements of this section have been met. The person who took the wild pig may transfer the carcass to another person without compensation.
Notwithstanding Section 4763, any part of any bear lawfully possessed pursuant to this section is subject to Section 4758.
Nothing in this section prohibits federal, state, or county trappers from killing or trapping bears when the bears are killing or molesting livestock, but no iron-jawed or steel-jawed or any type of metal-jawed trap shall be used to take the bear, and no person, including employees of the state, federal, or county government, shall take bear with iron-jawed or steel-jawed or any type of metal-jawed traps.
Wildlife Branch - Game Management
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
See also, Bear Hunting Information