Believe it or not, hunting license time is near
It may be another month and a half before your current hunting license expires, and it may be longer than that before you actually pack up the firearms and head into the field, but the 2010-11 hunting license and everything associated with it is now available.
If you participated in one of the special hunts last year, for which you had to apply early for any of the drawings, then you should have already received a mailing from the Department of Fish and Game with the sheet of labels you can use on the various applications.
What was missing in the mailing was the Big Game Digest book which contains not only all of last year’s statistics, but also the applications for elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope.
I find the statistics interesting as they provide the number of tags sold for each and every hunt zone, along with the success rates, and actually give details on the deer (whether forked horn, three pointer, or better).
For drawing purposes, the statistics will detail how many applicants vied for a particular zone or special hunt, which will give you some kind of idea what kind of competition you might face if you have an interest in that hunt or that zone.
According to the DFG, the book is coming. Once it’s received by the DFG, it will be mailed out, but that is still another week or two away. In the meantime, you can find the complete book on the DFG’s website, all 64 pages of it, which also includes the printable applications for the special hunts. Just go to www.dfg.ca.gov and look for the link on the home page that states “Big Game Hunting Digest (with tag drawing applications) now online Apps Due June 2.”
If you plan on putting in for any of the premium hunting zones for deer that require a drawing, or any of the elk, pronghorn antelope or bighorn sheep hunts, the deadline for applying is 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 2.
License, tag applications and any stamps should be completely available at your favorite sporting goods outlet. If you go directly to the DFG office on North Market Street in Sacramento’s Natomas area, you can save a few cents on everything.
This year, costs include $41.50 for the hunting license and $10.75 for a junior hunting license, $27.85 for the first deer application and $34.65 for the second, $40.70 for a bear tag application, and $19.95 for a pig tag.
It will cost you an additional $7.50 to file as an individual for any of the three special hunts – elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.
Folsom Lake: The lake is just about to the brim, the earliest Folsom has been this full in a long, long time and with more snows still to melt and come down the hill, we’re definitely in great condition this year for a full recreational boating season.
There are a few trout and salmon being caught but the action has tapered off considerably. Because of the high water, there’s a lot of structure in the water to work and bass seem to be lolling around just about all of it. Some bass are already spawned out and have moved on, others are still in spawning mode. That means you can work deeper water and shallower waters and find bass just about everywhere. For the non-purist, suspend a minnow under a bobber or even a crawler. Otherwise, slowly work an unweighted Senko.
Collins Lake: There’s a lot of water to cruise around on right now. For the first time in at least four years, the lake is full to the brim. Trout fishing either from shore or by boat remains a hot ticket item with some rainbows well over eight pounds being netted. Trolling the dam area region of the lake has remained hot and those from shore in the beach region at that end have also found the action just downright hot. Power Bait, salmon eggs and crawlers are all working.
Camp Far West: Easiest launching in a long time. The lake is not only full, it’s now pouring over the spillway. A lot of winds have kept angler pressure down, but let the winds stop and look out. Bass should go on a hot bite and so should the lake’s well-known crappie population.
Lake Oroville: It’s still far from full and the lake may not fill completely this year, but it’s still looking good. The water level came up 13 feet in one week alone and there’s still considerably more snow to still come downhill. While the shoreline keeps changing, bass are in the shallow water all around the lake. Just get out on the water and start tossing plastics and spinnerbaits. Even suspend a minnow.
Salmon: North winds have kept most boats off the offshore waters as the seas have just been too sloppy for any effective fishing. Still need the winds to seriously decrease before any real successful salmon fishing will get underway. A boat now and then got out for short periods to try it at Bodega. The numbers caught in the short time frame were low but a 32-pound king was still netted.
Sugar Pine Reservoir: It’s been planted a time or three by DFG and the action has been steady and consistent. It’s a small lake, perfect for a family outing. Because of its small size, keep your boat in idle-troll mode as the speed limit is 10 mph maximum. Both trolling and bank slinging has been good.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at