Wilson on Outdoors: Moving wing waterfowl decoys

Question: With waterfowl season approaching, I was wondering if you could clarify Regulation 507 regarding duck decoys that move? That regulation specifies moving wings or blades are prohibited until after Nov. 30, but I cannot find a prohibition regarding motor-powered decoys that simulate swimming (clamp on propeller), or water movement to simulate feeding (magnate type) or battery-powered jerk string. In short, are only moving wing decoys prohibited during the first six weeks of the season? James Scott, Oakley

A: The prohibition is only for electronically powered spinning wing or spinning wing simulated devices. There are no prohibitions to any other electronic devices that flap wings, allow the decoy to swim, feed or cause movement other than the spinning of a wing or wing-simulated device.

Q: One of my friends received a ticket about five years ago for abalone taken from the Fort Ross area. Afterward, he moved out of state. He recently moved back to California and would now like to pay his ticket, but he does not have any information. How should he go about paying it? How can he find out the amount owed and where he should send payment? Thanks for any help. James Y.

A: If your friend left the state without paying the fine for the ticket he received, then the court probably issued an arrest warrant for him. Fort Ross is in Sonoma County, so he should contact Sonoma County Superior Court as soon as possible. If contacted by law enforcement before doing this and it is determined there is an active warrant, your friend will be cited or arrested for not taking care of his ticket.

Q: Does the pistol a Fish and Wildlife officer carries in the field contain lead-free ammunition? I ask because if I’m in the woods in the lead-free zone under a carry concealed weapon permit and just camping, I must run lead-free, correct? The law should be consistent for everyone. Dale G.

A: No, the lead ban pertains to hunters. It is illegal to use or possess with a firearm capable of firing any projectile containing more than 1 percent lead by weight while taking or attempting to take big game or non game within the condor range. This includes center fire and black powder/muzzle loader and rim fire projectiles. Since wildlife officers are not hunting while on duty, their firearms may contain lead ammunition in the condor range. Any people who are not taking or attempting to take wildlife, including CCW holders, may use or possess lead ammunition.

Q: I have a bunch of woodpeckers that keep pecking at my house, and they are driving me crazy! Can I use a pellet gun to haze them and chase them off? Thanks. Alan H., Ukiah

A: No, woodpeckers are a non-game species, so you will have to find a non-lethal method to haze them away from your house. You could try hanging shiny mylar tape like they use in orchards to scare away the birds from fruit or try posting an owl decoy. You might also try covering the wood with metal mesh hardware cloth.

This is a USFWS question, and they do have a permit process for a number of species under federal depredation provisions unless designated a fully protected bird.

For additional tips and information, please check with the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program online at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.house.html#VERT.

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Q: Is it legal to travel through a State Marine Reserve in a kayak with fish and non-deployed fishing gear on board? Does “fishing gear deployed” mean having a hook and line in the water? Or does it go so far as to require fishing hooks be removed from any fishing line on board a kayak? The term “deployed” is not defined in the regulations, and I am wondering how it is enforced by the officers. Brian M.

A: Yes, you may travel through a state marine reserve with catch on board as long as no fishing gear is deployed in the water (per Section 632(a)(8) on pg. 52 of the current Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet). Deployed means the gear (hook and line) is in the water. If you wish to remove all doubt, you could remove the hooks, but that is not required by law. Just make sure your gear is out of the water and secured before transiting a state marine reserve, and you will be abiding by the law.

This story was originally published October 14, 2014 6:15 PM.

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